CDC to select county residents to participate in nationwide survey

Suffolk County is one of 15 counties nationwide selected to participate in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Residents from across the county will be randomly selected to participate in the survey, which begins April 29 and runs through June 28. A mobile exam center will be set up at Stony Brook University and the office site will open April 24.

The survey is “the most comprehensive survey of the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population,” according to a CDC press release. The survey provides data on public health problems from a national perspective. Each year, 5,000 residents across the nation have a chance to participate in the survey, which is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the CDC.

“[The survey] serves as the nation’s ‘health check-up,’ going into communities to collect health information throughout the country,” NCHS Director Charles Rothwell said in a statement. “The survey is a unique resource for health information, and without it we would lack important knowledge about major health conditions.”

Data collected in the survey is used to develop health policies, direct and design health programs and services and expand health knowledge for the nation. The findings provide critical health-related information on a number of issues such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The data is used to produce national references and are to create standardized growth charts for pediatricians across the country, according to the CDC.

“This is a unique opportunity for residents of Suffolk County to make an impact on important health issues facing our communities,” Suffolk County Health Commissioner James Tomarken said in a statement. “If you receive a letter from NHANES, or are visited by an NHANES health representative at your home, I hope you will agree to participate.”

Residents will have an invitation-only opportunity to participate in the survey. Individuals are selected at random and includes people of all ages, races and ethnicities to ensure the entire U.S. population is represented. People who choose to participate will first take part in a health interview conducted at an individual’s home. The next step is a health examination at the mobile examination center.

No medical care is provided directly in the mobile examination center. Participants receive a report on the physical findings along with an explanation from survey medical staff. All information collected in the survey is kept confidential and privacy is protected by law, according to the CDC.

Photo caption: A mobile exam center. (Credit: CDC)

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