Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Maintained/created by: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Geographic unit of data: U.S. national, U.S. territory, U.S. state, U.S. city, U.S. country

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Users can gather information regarding health risk behaviors and health conditions. Examples of topics include: physical activity, sexual behaviors, health insurance coverage, and chronic diseases. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a state-based system of health surveys and is the largest telephone health survey (almost 350,000 adults are interviewed each year). State-specific/ representative information on health risk behaviors, preventive health practices, and access to care is collected. The BRFSS helps state officials gather information related to behaviors linked to the leading causes of death- heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and injury. Information regarding preventive care like screening tests, seatbelt use, tobacco use, and physical activity is also ascertained.

Data Notes

Users can access BRFSS data as: Prevalence and Trend Data; SMART City and County Data; BRFSS Maps; Chronic Disease Indicators (CDI); and through WEAT. Data is presented in tables, graphs or maps, and users can compare across states or between years. Answers to the survey questions, data tables, and the full data sets are available for download into Excel files or can be printed directly from the site. Users can view data by age, race, gender, income or education, and it is often available on a national level, state, territory, county or city level. WEAT (Web Enabled Analysis Tool) allows users to analyze BRFSS data using logistic regression and to create cross tabulation tables. However, as of the date of this abstract, only 2005 data is available for use with WEAT. BRFSS started in 1984. Data is collected continuously in all 50 states, U.S. Virgin Islands, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rice and is released annually. The most recent data is from 2009