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National Library of Medicine Technical BulletinNational Library of Medicine Technical Bulletin

Table of Contents: 2023 SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER No. 454

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Revised NLM Tutorial: Finding and Using Health Statistics

Revised NLM Tutorial: Finding and Using Health Statistics. NLM Tech Bull. 2023 Sep-Oct;(454):b7.

2023 September 25 [posted]

How many Americans are affected by cardiovascular disease each year? Are there geographic gaps in access to health care? How do the leading causes of death in the United States differ from those worldwide? Do mRNA vaccines, like the COVID-19 vaccine, cause cardiovascular events? Does the use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) increase the risk of breast cancer?

The answers to these important questions and many others can be found in data collected by government, private, and non-profit agencies and organizations. The health statistics reported by these groups are critical to monitoring trends in the health status of populations, planning how health care resources are distributed, and evaluating the effectiveness of public health interventions.

The revised National Library of Medicine (NLM) tutorial Finding and Using Health Statistics describes different types of health statistics, how they are collected, and where they can be found. This class is self-paced and on-demand, which means you work on your own and on your schedule to complete activities such as interactive quizzes and in-depth exercises.

Originally written by staff at AcademyHealth for the National Information Center on Health Services Research & Health Care Technology (NICHSR) and updated and improved by public health and adult education experts at Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), this tutorial is aimed at students, librarians, public health professionals, and others interested in an introduction to the principles behind health statistics.

The course is eligible for 3 continuing education (CE) hours from the Medical Library Association (MLA), and can be used towards completion of the Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) and the Data Services Specialization (Level I).

Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) can obtain 3 CHES credits for completion of this course.

Access the course on the NLM website at

For MLA or CHES credit, register and complete the course via

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