Bridging the Information Gap Between Health and the Environment in North Carolina

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Abstract

Objective:

To better understand relationships between health and environmental hazards in North Carolina, a transdisciplinary group of participants from government and nongovernmental organizations (NFPs and universities) were appointed by the Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative to identify databases that when linked could lead toward improved environmental public health surveillance.

Design:

The workgroup identified and compiled a comprehensive data resource directory containing information on 74 key health and environmental databases. Previous examples of data linkage projects in North Carolina using data sets were demonstrated.

Results:

A single, high-quality directory of existing databases on health and the environment is now readily available. Data sets have independent values; when combined, these could prove increasingly important to evaluate health associations, particularly for researchers and policy makers.

Conclusion:

A pilot study to further demonstrate the importance of using the Environmental Health Database Inventory as a reference for data linkage projects is highly warranted.

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