CDC National Health Survey Underway in St. Louis County

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the most comprehensive study of the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population is underway in St. Louis County beginning Sept. 2.

What is the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey?  Unique program that monitors the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population. 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 serves as the nation’s ‘health check-up,’ going into communities to get health information throughout the country,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden. “The survey is a unique resource for health information, and without it we would lack important knowledge about major health conditions.”

Public health officials, legislators, and physicians use the information gathered in NHANES to develop sound health policies, direct and design health programs and services, and expand the health knowledge for the nation. NHANES captures data to identify and address health issues that will help everyone maintain independence and good health. In addition, national references are produced and standardized growth charts are created for pediatricians across the country to track children’s growth.

Individuals selected for the survey represent the U.S. population of all races/ethnicities and all ages. Respondents first participate in a health interview conducted in the respondent’s home followed by a health examination that takes place in one of three mobile examination centers.

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 body fat, 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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