EGRP News Flash - May 24, 2012
Changes to Availability of Social Security Administration's Death Master File Data
Cancer epidemiologists and other health researchers have long relied on the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Death Master File (DMF) data for determining the vital status of participants. Researchers find the DMF helpful in observational studies, prevention, and clinical trials because it is a single, centralized source of information.
SSA officials determined that Section 205r of the Social Security Act does not allow them to continue to disclose state death records that SSA receives through its contracts with the states, except in very limited circumstances.
Debbie Winn, Ph.D., Deputy Director of NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, recently wrote about this change on EGRP's Cancer Epidemiology Matters Blog and invites investigators to share how they have used the DMF data in their cancer epidemiology research and discuss the change's impact on their current and future research endeavors.