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FAQ and References

8.0 Frequently Asked Questions


WISQARSTM (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, pronounced "whiskers") NVDRS (National Violent Death Reporting System) is an interactive database system that provides data on violent incidents and violent deaths useful for research, public education, and for making informed public health decisions.

What is the suggested citation for WISQARSTM where the NVDRS module can be accessed?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2008). Available from URL:

What is NVDRS?

NVDRS is a surveillance system that collects data on violent deaths from a variety of sources, including death certificates, law enforcement reports, medical examiner and coroner reports, and crime laboratories. Individually, these sources provide fragmented data that explain violence only in a narrow context. Together, these sources offer a more comprehensive picture of the circumstances surrounding a violent death. As a result, NVDRS provides insight into the optimal points for intervention, thus improving violence prevention efforts.

When will new data be available for WISQARS NVDRS?

The violent death data provided in WISQARS NVDRS will be updated once a year, usually in the fall.  At that time, data from the previous year will be added.  Also, data on circumstances and other characteristics for deaths that occurred in earlier years will also be updated.  Therefore, after an update is completed, the numbers of deaths reported in WISQARS NVDRS for years prior to the update may change, thus affecting previous reports that were generated based on data prior to the update.

Why does WISQARS NVDRS offer reports for two modes (abstracter assigned and ICD-10 underlying cause of death code) of determining manner of death?

CDC commonly publishes NVDRS data using the abstracter assigned manner of death. CDC encourages the use of this mode because the manner assigned is based on information from all available data sources. Also, some of the more detailed data on the characteristics (suspect characteristics, specific mechanisms, victim-suspect relationship, place of injury, homeless status, military status, pregnancy status) and circumstances of the violent injury incident are relevant only to this mode.

WISQARS NVDRS offers data by ICD-10 underlying cause of death codes for those who want to compare violent death counts and rates with those based on death certificate data from the National Vital Statistics Data System operated by the National Center for Health Statistics or from individual States.

How can I download the information to my PC?

At the bottom of the user interface on the left-hand side is a Select Report Format option. The user has four output options:

The HTML format is the default, but the user can select any of the other formats. To download the data requested, the user should select the Spreadsheet option.

Where can I get additional information on NVDRS?

Detailed information on NVDRS is available on-line.



Content Source: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Office of Statistics and Programming
Page last modified:November 18, 2008