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United States Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

The BRFSS has been conducted in the United States since 1984. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention devised the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to provide state-level data on personal health behaviors related to preventative health care and various health risks.
Series type 
In-country survey series
Time period 
1984 - present

In the first year of the BRFSS, only 15 states participated; in recent years, all states have taken part and were joined by some of the territories (Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Guam). The questions, and thus the risks monitored, varied somewhat over the years, but generally included high blood pressure, alcohol and tobacco consumption, diet, exercise, home safety, seat belt use, health care use, screening for colorectal and breast cancers, and sexual behaviors.  The focus is on actual behaviors, rather than knowledge or attitudes.  Over the years, the number of people interviewed has increased: in 2009, over 400,000 were interviewed.  According to the CDC, it is the largest telephone health survey in the world. Data and documentation for the BRFSS are available from the CDC site, and the CDC also provides tools for exploring particular BRFSS topics - such as BRFSS Maps and the Web-Enabled Analysis Tool (WEAT).

United States Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Dataset Records

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