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Gastroschisis: A birth defect in which a portion of an infant's intestines protrude out of the body through a small hole in the body wall beside the umbilical cord. The body wall defect can be small or large and other organs such as the liver can be involved.

Geographic Information System (GIS): A mapping system that uses computers to collect, store, manipulate, analyze, and display data. For example, GIS can show the concentration of a contaminant within a community in relation to points of reference such as streets and homes.

Gestational age: A baby's age in number of weeks since conception.

Graph: A visual representation of data that displays the relationship among variables. Graphs are especially useful for showing broad trends in the data.

Ground water: The supply of fresh water found beneath the Earth's surface, usually in aquifers, which is often used for supplying wells and springs.

Ground water contamination: Any physical chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter in ground water.


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Hazard: A factor or exposure that may adversely affect health.

Hazardous waste sites: A location where harmful substances have been released or discarded into the environment.

Health data: Data that provide information about the occurrence of certain diseases and health conditions.

Health effect or health outcome: The disease or health problem itself, such as asthma attacks or birth defects.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): The Administrative Simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) are intended to reduce the costs and administrative burdens of health care by making possible the standardized, electronic transmission of many administrative and financial transactions that are currently carried out manually on paper.

Heart attack: See acute myocardial infarction

Heart disease: A broad term that includes several more specific heart conditions. The most common heart condition in the United States is coronary heart disease, which can lead to heart attack and other serious conditions.

Hydrocarbon: A chemical compound consisting only of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons, which occur naturally in petroleum, natural gas, coal, and wood, are often used as fuels. They are emitted into the air when the fuel does not burn or burns only partially. Hydrocarbons react in the presence of nitrogen oxides and sunlight to form ground-level ozone, a major component of smog. The most commonly tracked hydrocarbons are volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome: A heart condition that is present at birth, and often is called a congenital heart defect. It is a group of related defects that, together, mean that the left side of the heart is underdeveloped.

Hypospadias: A birth defect among boys in which the opening of the urethra is located somewhere along the underside of the penis instead of at the tip. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. This defect occurs when the urethra does not complete its development during the pregnancy.


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Indoor Air Quality (IAQ):The overall state of the air inside a building as reflected by the presence of pollutants, such as dust, fungi, animal dander, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and lead.

Incidence: Number of new cases of illness occurring within a specific population over a period of time.

Indicator: An indicator identifies and communicates a system's status. An environmental public health indicator (EPHI) provides information about a population's health status with respect to environmental factors. It can be used to assess health or a factor associated with health (i.e., risk factor, intervention) in a specified population through direct or indirect measures.

Infant mortality: Death of an infant in the first year of life.

Infant mortality rate: The number of deaths of infants, one year of age or younger, per 1,000 live births.

Infertility: A condition occurring when a couple cannot get pregnant after one year of trying.

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New Hampshire Environmental Public
Health Tracking Program
NH Department of Health and Human Services,
Division of Public Health Services
29 Hazen Drive  |  Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-4988  |  (800) 852-3345 ext.4988