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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 25, 2003

2003 Iowa Health Fact Book Is Available

The University of Iowa College of Public Health, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health, has released the 2003 Iowa Health Fact Book, a comprehensive storehouse of information describing the current health of Iowans.

The book assembles statistical data on the health experiences of Iowans in areas such as cancer and other chronic diseases, infectious diseases, injury, and prenatal and infant health. Information on Iowans' health and social behaviors, such as substance abuse, domestic abuse and driving under the influence arrests, as well as data on the geographic distribution of health care providers and health care facilities throughout the state, are also provided. In nearly all instances, data are presented at the county level.

Jane Pendergast, Ph.D., UI associate professor of biostatistics and director of the UI Center for Public Health Statistics, and Jude Igbokwe, Ph.D., former director of the Center for Health Statistics at the Iowa Department of Public Health, led development of the new publication.

"By compiling this type of information into one publication, we present a tool that is useful to Iowa's health care providers, health policymakers, public health practitioners, and health teachers and researchers alike," Pendergast said.

Data were collected from a broad range of state and national sources, including the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The UI-based Iowa Cancer Registry, Iowa Birth Defects Registry and the Office of Statewide Clinical Education Programs also provided data and analyses.

"Data collection efforts of this type are crucial to the department's mission of promoting and protecting the health of Iowans," said Mary Mincer Hansen, Ph.D., director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. "They allow us to see how far we've come and how far we have to go in fulfilling that mission."

The 2003 Iowa Health Fact Book is the fourth in a series of Iowa Health Fact Book biennial publications. For the first time, this edition builds on data presented in previous editions, allowing users to track changes over time.

"As we continue this effort over the years, we are in a better position to track changes longitudinally," Pendergast said.

An electronic version of the 2003 Iowa Health Fact Book is available online at http://www.public-health.uiowa.edu/FACTBOOK/. Previous editions of the fact book are available on this site as well. Users may download and print pages of the book from this site.

Bound versions of the book are also available for $20, which includes shipping costs. Ordering information may be found on the Web site or by calling the Center for Public Health Statistics at (319) 335-7005.

STORY SOURCE: The University of Iowa College of Public Health, Office of Communications, 4261 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

CONTACTS: Requests for fact book: Center for Public Health Statistics, (319) 335-7005. Media: Dan McMillan, 319-335-6835, daniel-mcmillan@uiowa.edu