Surveillance of certain health behaviors and conditions among states and selected local areas —- Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2009

Chaoyang Li, Lina S Balluz, Catherine A Okoro, Tara W Strine, Jin-Mann S Lin, Machell Town, William Garvin, Wilmon Murphy, William Bartoli, Balarami Valluru
MMWR Surveillance Summaries 2011 August 19, 60 (9): 1-250

PROBLEM: Chronic diseases and conditions (e.g., heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes) are the leading causes of death in the United States. Controlling health risk behaviors and conditions (e.g., smoking, physical inactivity, poor diet, excessive drinking, and obesity) and using preventive health-care services (e.g., physical examination, vaccination, screening for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, consumption of fruits and vegetables, and participation in regular leisure-time physical activity) can reduce morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases.

REPORTING PERIOD: January 2009--December 2009.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SYSTEM: The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an ongoing state-based random-digit--dialed telephone survey of noninstitutionalized adults aged ≥18 years residing in the United States. BRFSS collects data on health risk behaviors and conditions, chronic diseases and conditions, access to health care, and use of preventative health services and practices related to the leading causes of death and disabilities in the United States. This report presents results for 2009 for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, 180 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas (MMSAs), and 283 selected counties.

RESULTS: In 2009, the estimated prevalence of general health status, use of preventive health-care services, health risk behaviors and conditions, chronic diseases, and health impairments and disabilities varied substantially by state and territory, MMSA, and county. The following is a summary of results listed by BRFSS question topics. Each set of proportions refers to the range of estimated prevalence for the disease, condition, or behavior, as reported by the survey respondent. Adults who reported having fair or poor health: 10.1%--30.9% for states and territories, 7.9%--25.8% for MMSAs, and 4.5%--26.1% for counties. Adults with health-care coverage: 71.4%--94.7% for states and territories, 52.7%--96.3% for MMSAs, and 52.7%--97.6% for counties. Annual routine physical checkup among adults aged ≥18 years: 55.8%--79.3% for states and territories, 51.8%--80.7% for MMSAs, and 49.2%--83.5% for counties. Annual influenza vaccination among adults aged ≥65 years: 26.8%--76.8% for states and territories, 55.4%--81.4% for MMSAs, and 50.5%--83.5% for counties. Pneumococcal vaccination among adults aged ≥65 years: 19.1%--73.9% for states and territories, 52.9%--81.3% for MMSAs, and 41.9%--82.0% for counties. Adults who had their cholesterol checked within the preceding 5 years: 67.5%--85.3% for states and territories, 58.2%--88.8% for MMSAs, and 58.2%--92.4% for counties. Adults who consumed at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day: 14.6%--31.5% for states and territories, 12.6%--33.0% for MMSAs, and 13.4%--34.9% for counties. Adults who engaged in moderate or vigorous physical activity: 28.0%--60.7% for states and territories, 34.6%--64.9% for MMSAs, and 33.6%--67.3% for counties. Adults who engaged in only vigorous physical activity: 13.7%--40.1% for states and territories, 13.8%--43.3% for MMSAs, and 14.2%--50.0% for counties. Current cigarette smoking among adults: 6.4%--25.6% for states and territories, 5.7%--29.0% for MMSAs, and 5.6%--29.8% for counties. Binge drinking among adults: 6.8%--23.9% for states and territories, 3.5%--23.2% for MMSAs, and 3.4%--26.3% for counties. Heavy drinking among adults: 1.9%--8.1% for states and territories, 1.0%--11.1% for MMSAs, and 0.9%--11.1% for counties. Adults who reported no leisure-time physical activity: 15.8%--45.6% for states and territories, 13.3%--40.2% for MMSAs, and 10.5%--40.2% for counties. Adults aged ≥18 years who were overweight: 31.6%--38.7% for states and territories, 28.7%--44.1% for MMSAs, and 25.6%--46.7% for counties. Adults aged ≥20 years who were obese: 19.7%--36.0% for states and territories, 15.4%--43.6% for MMSAs, and 13.8%--45.7% for counties. Adults aged ≥18 years who did not get enough rest or sleep: 34.3%--52.6% for states and territories, 28.2%--54.8% for MMSAs, and 24.5%--55.6% for counties. Adults who had received a high blood pressure diagnosis: 22.1%--38.5% for states and territories, 18.8%--43.9% for MMSAs, and 17.2%--43.6% for counties. Adults who had a high blood cholesterol diagnosis: 24.9%--42.2% for states and territories, 27.5%--47.8% for MMSAs, and 26.7%--51.4% for counties. Adults who had received a diagnosis of coronary heart disease: 2.5%--10.3% for states and territories, 2.6%--11.6% for MMSAs, and 1.6%--12.3% for counties. Adults who had received a stroke diagnosis: 1.4%--3.9% for states and territories, 0.8%--5.9% for MMSAs, and 0.8%--6.6% for counties. Adults who had received a diabetes diagnosis: 5.8%--12.9% for states and territories, 2.8%--15.4% for MMSAs, and 2.8%--14.7% for counties. Adults who had received a cancer diagnosis: 3.0%--12.6% for states and territories, 5.8%--15.1% for MMSAs, and 3.9%--16.2% for counties. Adults who had asthma: 4.4%--11.1% for states and territories, and 3.2%--15.3% for MMSAs, and 3.2%--15.7% for counties. Adults who had arthritis: 10.7%--35.6% for states and territories, 16.2%--36.0% for MMSAs, and 12.6%--39.4% for counties. Adults with activity limitation associated with physical, mental, or emotional problems: 10.2%--27.1% for states and territories, 13.1%--33.7% for MMSAs, and 10.4%--36.1% for counties. Adults who required special equipment because of health problems: 3.6%--10.2% for states and territories, 3.4%--11.5% for MMSAs, and 1.7%--13.0% for counties.

INTERPRETATION: The findings in this report indicate substantial variations in self-rated general health status, health-care coverage, use of preventive health-care services, health risk behaviors and health conditions, cardiovascular conditions, other chronic diseases, and health impairments and disabilities among U.S. adults at the state and territory, MMSA, and county levels. The findings show that Healthy People 2010 objectives had not been met in many areas by 2009, which underscores the continued need for surveillance of general health status, use of preventive health-care services, health risk behaviors and conditions, chronic diseases, and health impairment and disability.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: Data on health risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, preventive care practices, and chronic diseases are used to develop health promotion activities, intervention programs, and health policies at the state, city, and county levels.. The overarching goals of Healthy People 2010 are to increase quality and years of healthy life and to eliminate health disparities. Local and state health departments and federal agencies should continue to use BRFSS data to identify populations at high risk for certain health risk behaviors and conditions, cardiovascular conditions, and other chronic diseases and to evaluate the use of preventive health-care services. In addition, BRFSS data can be used to direct, implement, monitor, and evaluate public health programs and policies that can lead to a reduction in morbidity and mortality.

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