Stories: Surveillance and Data in Action
Read our stories and blogs to learn more about our innovative work, programs, collaborations, and people driving surveillance and data at CDC … and beyond
Mortality data answers critical questions, helping us understand how many Americans are dying and – importantly – why. These data are relied on by researchers, epidemiologists, clinicians, policymakers, and many others working to identify problems, find solutions, and save lives.
First-of-its-kind data, compiled by the United States Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimate Project (USALEEP), mean that life expectancy at birth estimates are now available nationwide – down to the neighborhood level – for virtually every community in America. The first universal measure of health at a neighborhood level reveals gaps that may previously have gone unnoticed.
Connecting the right talent, technology, and teamwork is a powerful way to advance solutions to modern health challenges. It’s also one way that CDC is enhancing surveillance through innovation—by focusing on the people behind the data.
To keep up with the fast-moving opioid epidemic, CDC scientists from different centers work together to examine the timeliest data available to the agency on emergency department visits for opioid overdoses across multiple states. By combining surveillance data from two systems, experts can get a more detailed and timely view of this public health emergency.
When important details about how someone died are captured on death certificates, that data can greatly enhance existing public health surveillance efforts and help us understand epidemics. Today, several acceptable ways of writing cause-of-death statements exist, yet the level of precision required can be daunting and confusing, especially when evidence is incomplete or there are multiple conditions present at the time of death. Still, there are a number of ways we can make improvements.