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National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
Mode of Administration
In-person interview in the household and in a private setting in the mobile examination center. Standardized physical examinations and medical tests in mobile examination centers.
Survey Sample Design
The NHANES uses a stratified multistage probability sample, nationally representative of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. The NHANES III survey is designed to be nationally representative for either 3 or 6 years of data collection. The NHANES 1999-2004 survey is designed to give an annual sample that is nationally representative, and approximately 5,000 people are examined at 15 locations each year, with over sampling of African Americans, Mexican Americans, adolescents, and older persons.
The current NHANES are released in 2 year datasets, and NHANES 1999-2000 is the most recent data release. The sample size is smaller than NHANES III and the number of geographic units in the sample is more limited. The sample design, weighting, and variance estimation methodology also differ from NHANES III.
In NHANES III (1984-1994): Household interview response rate is 86 percent; and the medical examination response rate is 78 percent.
In NHANES 1999-2000: Household interview response rate is 82 percent; and the medical examination response rate is 76 percent.
Primary Survey Content
Chronic disease prevalence and conditions (including undiagnosed conditions), risk factors, diet and nutritional status, immunization status, infectious disease prevalence, health insurance, and measures of environmental exposures. Other topics addressed include hearing, vision, mental health, anemia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, obesity, oral health, mental health, and physical fitness.
For NHANES III, the civilian noninstitutionalized population residing in the United States aged 2 months and over. Beginning in 1999, people of all ages are included.
Gender, age, education, race/ethnicity, place of birth, income, occupation, and industry.
From 1960 to 1994, a total of seven national examination surveys have been conducted. Beginning in 1999, the survey has been conducted continuously.
Fielded periodically (1960–1994); continuously beginning in 1999, with data releases occurring in 2 year increments.
National; four U.S. Census Bureau regions.
Agency homepage: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs.
Data system homepage: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes.htm.
National Center for Health Statistics. Plan and operation of the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–94. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Vital and Health Statistics 1(32), 1994.
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