Surveillance for Certain Health Behaviors, Chronic Diseases, and Conditions, Access to Health Care, and Use of Preventive Health Services Among States and Selected Local Areas - Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2012

Pranesh P Chowdhury, Tebitha Mawokomatanda, Fang Xu, Sonya Gamble, David Flegel, Carol Pierannunzi, William Garvin, Machell Town
MMWR Surveillance Summaries 2016 April 29, 65 (4): 1-142

PROBLEM: Chronic diseases (e.g., heart diseases, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis) and unintentional injuries are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Behavioral risk factors (e.g., tobacco use, poor diet, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, failure to use seat belts, and insufficient sleep) are linked to the leading causes of death. Modifying these behavioral risk factors and using preventive health services (e.g., cancer screenings and influenza and pneumococcal vaccination of adults aged ≥65 years) can substantially reduce morbidity and mortality in the U.S.

POPULATION: Continuous monitoring of these health-risk behaviors, chronic conditions, and use of preventive services are essential to the development of health promotion strategies, intervention programs, and health policies at the state, city, and county level.

REPORTING PERIOD: January-December 2012.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SYSTEM: The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an ongoing, state-based, random-digit-dialed landline- and cellular-telephone survey of noninstitutionalized adults aged ≥18 years residing in the United States. BRFSS collects data on health-risk behaviors, chronic diseases and conditions, access to health care, and use of preventive health services related to the leading causes of death and disability. This report presents results for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, participating U.S. territories that include the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico) and Guam, 187 Metropolitan/Micropolitan Statistical Areas (MMSAs), and 210 counties (n = 475,687 survey respondents) for the year 2012.

RESULTS: In 2012, the estimated prevalence of health-risk behaviors, chronic diseases or conditions, access to health care, and use of preventive health services substantially varied by state and territory, MMSA, and county. The following portion of the abstract lists a summary of results by selected BRFSS measures. Each set of proportions refers to the range of estimated prevalence for health-risk behaviors, chronic diseases or conditions, and use of preventive health care services among geographical units, as reported by survey respondents. Adults with good or better health: 64.0%-88.3% for states and territories, 62.7%-90.5% for MMSAs, and 68.1%-92.4% for counties. Adults aged 18-64 years with health care coverage: 64.2%-93.1% for states and territories, 35.4%- 93.7% for MMSAs, and 35.4%-96.7% for counties. Adults who received a routine physical checkup during the preceding 12 months: 55.7%-80.1% for states and territories, 50.6%-85.0% for MMSAs, and 52.4%-85.0% for counties. An influenza vaccination received during the preceding 12 months among adults aged ≥65 years: 26.3%-70.1% for states and territories, 20.8%-77.8% for MMSAs, and 24.1%-77.6% for counties. Ever received pneumococcal vaccination among adults aged ≥65 years: 22.2%-76.2% for states and territories, 15.3%-83.4% for MMSAs, and 25.8%-85.2% for counties. Adults who had a dental visit in the past year: 53.7%-76.2% for states and territories, and 44.8%-81.7% for MMSAs and counties. Adults aged ≥65 years who have lost all of their natural teeth from tooth decay or gum disease: 7.0%-33.7% for states and territories, 5.8%-39.6% for MMSAs, and 5.8%-37.1% for counties. Adults aged 50-75 years who received a colorectal cancer screening on the basis of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation: 40.0%-76.4% for states and territories, 47.1%-80.7% for MMSAs, and 47.0%-81.0% for counties. Women aged 21-65 years who had a Papanicolaou test during the preceding 3 years: 68.5% to 89.6% for states and territories, 70.3% to 92.8% for MMSAs, and 65.7%-94.6% for counties. Women aged 50-74 years who had a mammogram during the preceding 2 years: 66.5%- 89.7% for states and territories, 61.1%-91.5% for MMSAs, and 61.8%-91.6% for counties. Current cigarette smoking among adults: 10.6%-28.3% for states and territories, 5.1%-30.1% for MMSAs, and 5.1%-28.3% for counties. Binge drinking among adults during the preceding month: 10.2%-25.2% for states and territories, 6.2%-28.1% for MMSAs, and 6.2%-29.5% for counties. Heavy drinking among adults during the preceding month: 3.5%-8.5% for states and territories, 2.0%-11.0% for MMSAs, and 1.9%-11.0% for counties. Adults who reported no leisure-time physical activity: 16.3%-42.4% for states and territories, 9.2%-47.3% for MMSAs, and 9.2%-39.0% for counties. Self- reported seat belt use: 62.0%-93.7% for states and territories, 54.1%-97.1% for MMSAs, and 50.1%-97.4% for counties. Adults who were obese: 20.5%-34.7% for states and territories, 14.8%-44.5% for MMSAs and counties. Adults with diagnosed diabetes: 7.0%-16.4% for states and territories, 3.4%-17.4% for MMSAs, and 3.1%-17.4% for counties. Adults who ever had any type of cancer: 3.0%-13.7% for states and territories, 3.8%-19.2% for MMSAs, and 4.5%-19.2% for counties. Adults with current asthma: 5.8%-11.1% for states and territories, 3.1%-15.0% for MMSAs, and 3.1%-15.7% for counties. Adults with some form of arthritis: 15.6%-36.4% for states and territories, 16.8%-45.8% for MMSAs, and 14.8%-35.9% for counties. Adults having had a depressive disorder: 9.0%-23.5% for states and territories, 9.2%-28.3% for MMSAs, and 8.5%-28.4% for counties. Adults aged ≥45 years who have had coronary heart disease: 7.4%-19.0% for states and territories, 6.1%-23.3% for MMSAs, and 6.1%-20.6% for counties. Adults aged ≥45 years who have had a stroke: 3.1%-7.3% for states and territories, 2.1%-9.3% for MMSAs, and 1.5%-9.3% for counties. Adults with limited activities because of physical, mental, or emotional problems: 15.0%-28.6% for states and territories, 12.0%-31.7% for MMSAs, and 11.3%-31.7% for counties. Adults using special equipment because of any health problem: 4.8%-11.6% for states and territories, 4.0%-14.7% for MMSAs, and 2.8%-13.6% for counties.

INTERPRETATION: This report underscores the need for continuous surveillance of health-risk behaviors, chronic diseases or conditions, health care access, and use of preventive care services at state and local levels. It will help to identify high-risk populations and to evaluate public health intervention programs and policies designed to reduce morbidity and mortality from chronic disease and injury.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION: State and local health departments and agencies can continue to use BRFSS data to identify populations at high risk for unhealthy behaviors and chronic diseases or conditions, lack of health care access, and inadequate use of preventive care services. Additionally, states can use the data to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate public health programs and policies at state and local levels.

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