Friday, May 8, 2009



Larry Dobbins- (718) 797-1038
Nora Martinello- (888) 639-2982


The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the most comprehensive study of the health and nutritional status of Americans gets underway in the Brooklyn Borough beginning on April 11, 2009.

What is the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey?
A unique program that monitors the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population.
[-A valuable tool for developing effective health policies and programs.
-It is an opportunity to gain information about one’s health.
-The survey includes health interviews and health measurements.]

Each year, approximately 7,000 randomly-selected residents in 15 counties across the nation have the opportunity to participate in the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

“NHANES is very much like a ‘health exam center on wheels,’ that goes out into actual communities to get data on real Americans,” said CDC Director Julie L. Gerberding. “It truly is a unique resource for health information in this country, and without it we wouldn’t have data on a number of important health conditions.

Borough President Markowitz stated, “Brooklyn is one of the most ethnically and economically diverse cities in the country. If there’s a health challenge impacting the lives of Americans, you can bet we’re dealing with it head-on. The CDC is making the right call by using Brooklyn to take the nation’s temperature.”

NHANES has been conducted by NCHS for nearly 50 years and provides annual estimates on a range of diseases such as the number of Americans who have heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, respiratory disease, and other conditions.

The information gathered in NHANES is used by public health officials, legislators, and physicians to develop sound health policies, direct and design health programs and services, and expand the health knowledge for the nation. In addition, NHANES data is used to create standardized growth charts used by pediatricians across the country to track children’s growth.

Individuals selected for the survey represent the U.S. population of all ages. Additional emphasis in the current NHANES is placed on the health of older Americans, African-Americans and Hispanics.

Respondents first participate in a health interview conducted in the respondent’s home. The health examination that follows takes place in one of three mobile examination centers that travel to different communities, large and small, urban and rural, across the country for data collection.

A team of health personnel, including a physician, nutritionists, and health and laboratory technicians using high-tech, state-of-the-art equipment, staffs the mobile examination centers. A team of specially-trained professionals conducts the household interviews.

All participants receive an examination by a physician, as well as a dietary interview, and body measurements that include height and weight. Some will be eligible for a hearing test, a scan to evaluate skeletal health, a breathing test, as well as a blood pressure test. The various tests and procedures depend upon the age of the participant.

No medical care is provided directly in the examination center, but a report on the medical findings is given to each participant along with an explanation from survey medical staff.

All individual information collected in the survey is kept strictly confidential, and privacy is protected by public law.

Participants selected to undergo the physical examination receive reimbursement for travel expenses and remuneration of up to $125 per person.

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