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  • As the Nation’s principal health statistics agency, we compile statistical information to guide actions and policies to improve the health of our people. We are a unique public resource for health information–-a critical element of public health and health policy.

    Our health statistics allow us to:
    • document the health status of the population and of important subgroups
    • identify disparities in health status and use of health care by race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, region, and other population characteristics
    • describe our experiences with the health care system
    • monitor trends in health status and health care delivery
    • identify health problems
    • support biomedical and health services research
    • provide information for making changes in public policies and programs
    • evaluate the impact of health policies and programs
    Working with partners throughout the health community, we use a variety of approaches to efficiently obtain information from the sources most able to provide information. We collect data from birth and death records, medical records, interview surveys, and through direct physical exams and laboratory testing. NCHS is a key element of our national public health infrastructure, providing important surveillance information that helps identify and address critical health problems.