Iowa Violent Death Reporting System (IAVDRS)


Iowa is one of 42 states 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 and beyond.  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 135A.6 §1b(3) – Public Health Modernization Act
  • 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 data providers and representatives of violence prevention programs.  Meetings are held quarterly either virtually or in-person.  The following governmental and non-profit organizations are represented:

  • Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office
  • IDPH Vital Records Bureau
  • Iowa Dept. of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Investigation
  • Iowa Sheriffs and Deputies Association
  • Iowa Police Chiefs Association
  • Cedar Rapids Police Department
  • Des Moines Police Department
  • Johnson County Medical Examiner
  • Polk County Medical Examiner
  • Linn County Sheriff
  • Polk County Sheriff
  • Sioux City Police Department
  • Iowa Child and Domestic Abuse Death Review Teams
  • IDPH Suicide Prevention Program
  • Iowa Dept. of Human Rights, Division of Criminal & Juvenile Justice Planning
  • University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center


Educational Resources/Program Newsletters


Data Reports

Related links:

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

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 IAVDRS Program Manager at (515) 242-6514