Vital statistics are considered to be the foundation of public health. Oklahoma began collecting information related to births and deaths in 1917. These records are used for a variety of purposes: the Social Security Administration for maintaining legal and administrative records, OSDH and other state agencies for planning and evaluating programs, and researchers for assessing/estimating/measuring population growth. Each state differs slightly in the information that is collected and how it is used. In Oklahoma, these data are evaluated to address health issues such as: improving birth outcomes, identifying areas of high risk for teenage pregnancies, and describing/assessing causes of death (leading, infant deaths, stillbirth, childhood deaths). In addition to births and deaths, Oklahoma collects data related to legal induced abortions, also known as induced termination of pregnancy (ITOP).
Access to birth data is available from 1975 to the current year. These data can be broken down by various demographics, including demographics of the child (gestational age, gender, birthweight), demographics of the mother (age, race, Hispanic origin, education level, when prenatal care began, number of previous live births, plurality), and geography (mother's county and city of residence). In addition to frequencies, both percentages and birth rates (crude birth rates, fertility rates, as well as age, race, and Hispanic Origin specific rates) can be generated.
Access to death (mortality) data is available from 1980 to the current year. Death data can be broken down by various demographics, including age, gender, county, race, Hispanic origin, education level, and cause of death (standard and rankable groupings for both ICD-9 [1991- 1998] and ICD-10 [1999+] mortality codes) of the decedent. In addition; frequencies, percentages, crude mortality rates, age-adjusted mortality rates (using state or national standards), and years of potential life lost (YPLL) can be generated.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) began routine abortion surveillance in 2000 to document legal induced abortions. Abortion surveillance provides the data necessary to examine the trends in total numbers of legal induced abortions, as well as the demographic characteristics of women who obtain them. Abortion surveillance also serves to increase the awareness of additional aspects in the spectrum of pregnancy outcomes. These data are necessary to improve the health and well being of both women and infants.
For general questions about vital statistics data, please contact the Center for Health Statistics at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-271-6225.