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Surveillance for certain health behaviors and conditions among states and selected local areas -- Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2013 and 2014
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  • Description:
    Problem: Chronic diseases and conditions (e.g., heart diseases, stroke, arthritis, and diabetes) are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. These conditions are costly to the U.S. economy, yet they are often preventable or controllable. Behavioral risk factors (e.g., excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco use, poor diet, frequent mental distress, and insufficient sleep) are linked to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Adopting positive health behaviors (e.g., staying physically active, quitting tobacco use, obtaining routine physical checkups, and checking blood pressure and cholesterol levels) can reduce morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases and conditions. Monitoring the health risk behaviors, chronic diseases and conditions, access to health care, and use of preventive health services at multilevel public health points (states, territories, and metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas [MMSA]) can provide important information for development and evaluation of health intervention programs.

    Reporting Period: 2013 and 2014.

    Description of the System: The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an ongoing, state-based, random-digit–dialed 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 and practices related to the leading causes of death and disability in the United States and participating territories. This is the first BRFSS report to include age-adjusted prevalence estimates. For 2013 and 2014, these age-adjusted prevalence estimates are presented for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and selected MMSA.

    Results: Age-adjusted prevalence estimates of health status indicators, health care access and preventive practices, health risk behaviors, chronic diseases and conditions, and cardiovascular conditions vary by state, territory, and MMSA. Each set of proportions presented refers to the range of age-adjusted prevalence estimates of selected BRFSS measures as reported by survey respondents.

    The following are estimates for 2013. Adults reporting frequent mental distress: 7.7%–15.2% in states and territories and 6.3%–19.4% in MMSA. Adults with inadequate sleep: 27.6%–49.2% in states and territories and 26.5%–44.4% in MMSA. Adults aged 18–64 years having health care coverage: 66.9%–92.4% in states and territories and 60.5%–97.6% in MMSA. Adults identifying as current cigarette smokers: 10.1%–28.8% in states and territories and 6.1%–33.6% in MMSA. Adults reporting binge drinking during the past month: 10.5%–25.2% in states and territories and 7.2%–25.3% in MMSA. Adults with obesity: 21.0%–35.2% in states and territories and 12.1%–37.1% in MMSA. Adults aged ≥45 years with some form of arthritis: 30.6%–51.0% in states and territories and 27.6%–52.4% in MMSA. Adults aged ≥45 years who have had coronary heart disease: 7.4%–17.5% in states and territories and 6.2%–20.9% in MMSA. Adults aged ≥45 years who have had a stroke: 3.1%–7.5% in states and territories and 2.3%–9.4% in MMSA. Adults with high blood pressure: 25.2%–40.1% in states and territories and 22.2%–42.2% in MMSA. Adults with high blood cholesterol: 28.8%–38.4% in states and territories and 26.3%–39.6% in MMSA.

    The following are estimates for 2014. Adults reporting frequent physical distress: 7.8%–16.0% in states and territories and 6.2%–18.5% in MMSA. Women aged 21–65 years who had a Papanicolaou test during the past 3 years: 67.7%–87.8% in states and territories and 68.0%–94.3% in MMSA. Adults aged 50–75 years who received colorectal cancer screening on the basis of the 2008 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation: 42.8%–76.7% in states and territories and 49.1%–79.6% in MMSA. Adults with inadequate sleep: 28.4%–48.6% in states and territories and 25.4%–45.3% in MMSA. Adults reporting binge drinking during the past month: 10.7%–25.1% in states and territories and 6.7%–26.3% in MMSA. Adults aged ≥45 years who have had coronary heart disease: 8.0%–17.1% in states and territories and 7.6%–19.2% in MMSA. Adults aged ≥45 years with some form of arthritis: 31.2%–54.7% in states and territories and 28.4%–54.7% in MMSA. Adults with obesity: 21.0%–35.9% in states and territories and 19.7%–42.5% in MMSA.

    Interpretation: Prevalence of certain chronic diseases and conditions, health risk behaviors, and use of preventive health services varies among states, territories, and MMSA. The findings of this report highlight the need for continued monitoring of health status, health care access, health behaviors, and chronic diseases and conditions at state and local levels.

    Public Health Action: State and local health departments and agencies can continue to use BRFSS data to identify populations at risk for certain unhealthy behaviors and chronic diseases and conditions. Data also can be used to design, monitor, and evaluate public health programs at state and local levels.

    Suggested citation for this article: Gamble S, Mawokomatanda T, Xu F, et al. Surveillance for Certain Health Behaviors and Conditions Among States and Selected Local Areas — Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2013 and 2014. MMWR Surveill Summ 2017;66(No. SS-16):1–144. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.ss6616a1.

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