The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the most comprehensive survey of the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population, is now underway in Essex County, including around Cape Ann.
Representatives have started knocking on doors of Cape Ann residents to ask few screening questions to see if anyone in the household qualifies based on random sampling and will continue the process through June 6. The project has the endorsement of Mayor Carolyn Kirk, the Gloucester Board of Health and Noreen Burke, the city's health director, along with Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health John Auerbach.
Each year, residents in 15 counties across the nation have the chance to participate in the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is carried out by the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"NHANES serves as the nation's 'health check-up,' going into communities to get health information throughout the country," said CDC Director Thomas Frieden. "The survey is a unique resource for health information, and without it we would lack important knowledge about major health conditions."
Public health officials, legislators, and physicians all use the information that is gathered to develop local, state and regional health policies, direct and design health programs and services, and expand the health knowledge for the nation.
This year, NHANES will embark on a new youth survey called the National Youth Fitness Survey, which will provide additional information used to evaluate the health and weight of children and adolescents. Individuals selected for the NHANES program are chosen to represent the U.S. population of all races or ethnicities and all ages.
Respondents first participate in a health interview conducted in the respondent's home followed by a health examination that takes place in one of three mobile examination centers. No medical care is provided directly in the mobile examination center, but a report on physical findings is given to each participant along with an explanation from survey medical staff.
The various tests and procedures depend upon the age of the participant. All information collected in the surveys is kept strictly confidential, and privacy is protected by public law.
Anyone seeking more information about NHANES is invited to call 1-800-452-6115, visit www.cdc.gov/nhanes, or contact the Gloucester Health Department at 978-281-9771.
Mike LaBella may be contacted at email@example.com.