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Public Health: Kentucky Resources

Kentucky Resources

PubMed/Medline and Health Statistics

Searching Medline (PubMed)


Remember that Medline has a Thesaurus of terms - MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), a controlled vocabulary used for indexing articles in Medline. MeSH terminology provides a consistent way to retrieve information where authors may use different terminology for the same concepts.

You will find material on statistics in Medline, but you will need to be aware of the thesaurus (MeSH) terms available for searching. Below are some examples of the language Medline uses to describe the concepts in this field.

MeSH - Data Collection

MeSH - Demography

MeSH - Statistics

Many concepts have hierarchies of more specific subcategories or related terms. The indentations in the lists reflect the structure of the hierarchy, and the + signs at the end of terms indicate that there is a further hierarchy of terms not displayed here. Any of these terms can be searched individually, or you can "explode" terms to search sections of the list.

When you search for subjects using MeSH terms from the Medline thesaurus you will also have the option of appending subheadings to narrow the focus of your search.

The subheadings below may also be useful when you are searching for statistical material.

Statistics and Numerical Data
Used with non-disease headings for the expression of numerical values which describe particular sets or groups of data. It excludes manpower distribution, for which "manpower" is used and excludes supply or demand for which "supply and distribution" is used.

Epidemiology
Used with human and veterinary diseases for the distribution of disease, factors which cause disease, and the attributes of disease in defined populations; includes incidence, frequency, prevalence, endemic and epidemic outbreaks; also surveys and estimates of morbidity in geographic areas and in specified populations. Used also with geographical headings for the location of epidemiologic aspects of a disease. Excludes mortality for which "mortality" is used.

Ethnology
Used with diseases and selected terms for ethnic, cultural, anthropological, or racial aspects, and with geographic headings to indicate the place of origin of a group of people.

Mortality
Used with human and veterinary diseases for mortality statistics. For deaths resulting form various procedures statistically, but for death resulting in a specific case use the MeSH term "fatal outcome".

Supply and Distribution
Used for the quantitative availability and distribution of material, equipment, health services, personnel, and facilities. It excludes food supply and water supply in industries and occupations.

Utilization
Used with equipment, facilities, programs, services, and health personnel for discussions, usually with data, of how much they are used. It includes discussions of overuse and underuse.