Many of epidemiologic researches are based on individual health data, and epidemiologists get them for the researches directly from participants of the researches. This is the orthodox way to conduct an epidemiologic research, but some epidemiologists get individual information using national statistical data, such as vital statistics. For example, in a cohort study of which endpoints are death, it is easier and the validity is higher if an epidemiologist uses vital statistics rather than the epidemiologist makes efforts to get fetal information from individual participants. In Japan, Annual Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions includes data concerning health every 3 years so that if an epidemiologist could link the data and vital statistics individually, an cohort study would be constructed with a large and nationwide random sample.
The condition to use the national statistical data differs among countries and areas. For example, the National Death Index system is available in Korea so that cohort studies with fetal endpoints are easier to be conducted than in countries without the system. Although it has become easier to use national statistical data in Japan nowadays than in the past because of a partial amendment of the Statistical Act, epidemiologists in Japan have to make more effort to use the data than in other countries.
In the workshop, epidemiologists in the Western Pacific regions, such as Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, present their situation, and how to make it easier to use the national statistical data for research.
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