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Release: Immediate

Iowa Health Fact Book now available

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A comprehensive report detailing the health status of Iowans is now available to the public and to professionals interested in public health issues in the state.

The 1997 Iowa Health Fact Book, sponsored by the UI College of Medicine and the Iowa Department of Public Health, was first presented at a public health conference in Des Moines earlier this month. It is a comprehensive overview of the accessibility, quality and efficiency of health care delivery at the county, state and regional level. In addition to general health information, the report includes current data on cancer and other diseases, injury, infectious diseases, youth health data, health care professional distributions, and health facilities throughout the state.

The book was compiled by UI College of Medicine researchers who drew from a wide variety of health data sources, including databases of the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, the State Health Registry, Kids Count, the UI Hygienic Laboratory and the UI Office of Statewide Clinical Education Programs.

"This document is designed as a resource for all Iowans concerned with their health, the health of their community and the public health of the state of Iowa," notes Dr. James Merchant, UI professor of preventive medicine and environmental health, and internal medicine, and lead author of the book.

The 1997 Iowa Health Fact Book is available from the UI at a cost of $25. To order, contact Laurie Walkner at (319) 335-4203. The book is also available free via the Internet at By accessing the Internet site, users can manipulate data according to their specific needs. For example, a user could compare the incidence of farm fatalities or the number of social workers in their county to corresponding figures for adjacent counties or counties of similar size. The Internet site will be updated regularly.