Health Data

What it Can Tell Us

Health data can tell us about rates of some diseases and health conditions.

What it Cannot Tell Us

The data provide little information about possibly related environmental hazards or exposures. Most county and ZIP Code maps and tables reflect people's addresses at the time of their diagnoses. This information tells us very little about their contact with environmental hazards (environmental exposures) that may be related to their health condition. Many diseases, like cancer, take a long time to develop. So, it is likely that exposures that occurred many years in the past would be more related to the disease. Those exposures might not be associated with a person's residence when they were diagnosed.

Data Sources

We identify the type and/or source of data, timeframe, geographic coverage and presentation (tables, maps or reports). Links to national data or data from other states are also provided.


The Department of Health collects information on many diseases and health conditions on an ongoing basis. Information is compiled into data tables, maps and reports, which are updated periodically. Data are provided geographically, for example, for New York State as a whole, by county, or by ZIP code. In some cases, users will find explanations about how data are collected, presented and checked for accuracy. These are usually entitled "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs), "About the data," or "Please read first."

Not all data sets were developed for tracking. For example, some are intended to provide a record of births and deaths, or to track hospital use. Factors related to how data are collected and which data are presented might affect estimates and comparisons when using them to estimate disease rates or to track trends across the state.