Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) : overview : BRFSS 2020
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    The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a collaborative project between all of the states in the United States and participating US territories and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The BRFSS is administered and supported by CDC's Population Health Surveillance Branch, under the Division of Population Health at CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. The BRFSS is a system of ongoing health-related telephone surveys designed to collect data on health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services from the noninstitutionalized adult population (≥ 18 years) residing in the United States.

    The BRFSS was initiated in 1984, with 15 states collecting surveillance data on risk behaviors through monthly telephone interviews. Over time, the number of states participating in the survey increased; BRFSS now collects data in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and participating US territories. During 2020, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico collected BRFSS data. In this document, the term “state” is used to refer to all areas participating in the BRFSS, including the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

    BRFSS’s objective is to collect uniform state-specific 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 in the United States. Factors assessed by the BRFSS in 2020 included health status and healthy days, exercise, inadequate sleep, chronic health conditions, oral health, tobacco use, cancer screenings, and health-care access (core section). Optional Module topics for 2020 included prediabetes and diabetes, cognitive decline, electronic cigarettes, cancer survivorship (type, treatment, pain management) and sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI). Refer to the 2020 BRFSS Questionnaire for the full list of topics and offerings.


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