Iowa Violent Death Reporting System (IAVDRS)


Iowa is funded by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to collect data on violent deaths for the National Violent Death Reporting System.  Using a variety of source records, the Iowa Violent Death Reporting System (IAVDRS) gathers information on cause of death and contributing circumstances, and enters it into a national database.  Community partners and researchers can use the data to contribute to a better understanding of violent deaths and develop strategies to prevent them.

Iowa data collection started for deaths that occurred beginning in calendar year 2015. In 2015 data was collected from the seven most populous counties (Black Hawk, Johnson, Linn, Polk, Pottawattamie, Scott and Woodbury). Statewide data collection began in calendar year 2016. The department gathers reports from death certificates, medical examiner and law enforcement reports to identify circumstances that contribute to these types of violent deaths:

  • Homicides
  • Suicides
  • Deaths resulting from law enforcement intervention
  • Unintentional firearm injury deaths
  • Deaths of undetermined intent
  • Deaths resulting from terrorism 

Program Authority and Confidentiality

These sections of the Iowa Code provide IDPH the legal authority to run the IAVDRS program:

  • Section 136.3 §2c – State Board of Health duties and responsibilities
  • Section 135.11 §1 – Duties of the department of public health
  • Section 135.40 – allows IDPH to collect data for purposes of reducing morbidity and mortality  

IAVDRS Confidentiality Procedures  PDF


IAVDRS Advisory Committee

The program is guided by an advisory committee comprised of governmental and non-profit agencies and organizations. Meetings are held quarterly either virtually or in-person. If you are interested in attending a meeting of the IAVDRS Advisory Committee, please contact Binnie LeHew at vivian.lehew@idph.iowa.gov


Educational Resources/Program Newsletters


Data Reports


Related links:

CDC - National Violent Death Reporting System webpage describes the national program and other funded states

CDC - Infographic about National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS)

CDC - WISQARS™ (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) is an online, interactive database that includes violent death data and is available to the public.


For more information, contact the Iowa Department of Public Health at (515) 281-7689 or use the "Contact Us" page for additional information or assistance.