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CHHS Researcher Studies Public Health Data

A paper co-published by CHHS faculty is demonstrating the capability of new technology that allows in-depth analysis of health outcomes amongst different groups. Published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the research outlines a novel approach to studying public health data.

The technology lets researchers look at distinct populations experiencing high levels of a health problem in a more detailed manner than was possible using previous methods.

"Existing sources of publicly available data and powerful information technology enable hundreds of millions of subpopulations to be defined and analyzed for multiple outcomes, such as deaths (as in our demonstration), avoidable hospitalizations, inpatient and ambulatory surgical complications, readmissions, newly diagnosed cancers, emergency room visits and many others," the study noted.

Campus Hosts One of Nation's Largest Health Studies

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), one of the largest and longest-running surveys of America’s health and nutritional status, established an outpost on UNC Charlotte’s campus this summer. NHANES field teams conducted more than 300 in-home interviews across the area, and about the same number visited the mobile examination center on campus for a comprehensive physical exam.

College of Health and Human Services Dean Nancy Fey-Yensan worked with numerous UNC Charlotte divisions to secure the space and resources for the NHANES mobile center. She said the data the survey collects are "like gold" to CHHS researchers.

"NHANES has been and continues to be absolutely essential in yielding scientifically derived, foundational data that is used to identify the health care needs of a rapidly changing population in the U.S. It is the most comprehensive, valid and reliable health data set in America," said Fey-Yensan. "The data set is accessible to our researchers who can look at it and examine current population health trends and ask, and importantly, answer, the most salient health questions for the populations we serve."