NCHS has started a new Vital Statistics Rapid Release (VSRR) program that provides access to the most timely vital statistics for public health surveillance, through 1) pilot releases of Quarterly Provisional Estimates and 2) Special Reports based on a current flow of vital statistics data from state vital records offices. Using the provisional data, NCHS is able to produce much more timely estimates of important health indicators for public health practitioners, researchers, and health policy-makers than would be possible using final annual data.
In this first pilot release of Quarterly Provisional Estimates, NCHS presents estimates of death rates for seven selected causes of death for 2013 and 2014 and the first quarter of 2015. This is the first public release of any mortality data for 2014 or 2015. The estimates are based on all death records received and processed by NCHS as of June 21, 2015, and will be updated each quarter as new provisional mortality data become available. The seven selected causes of death included in this pilot release are influenza and pneumonia, heart disease, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease, falls (for persons aged 65 and over), stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. These causes have been selected based on their importance for public health surveillance and the feasibility of rapidly producing accurate estimates using the available provisional data. The causes are limited to seven in this first release to maximize timeliness.
Additional causes of death based on provisional mortality data, such as cancer, suicide, and drug poisoning-related deaths, may be added in upcoming quarterly releases after evaluation using the same criteria. Selected estimates based on provisional birth data will also be added in future releases after evaluation.