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Cognitive Impairment Module — Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

CDC’s Healthy Aging Program used a comprehensive approach to develop a set of questions for use in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to assess and monitor self-reported cognitive decline and associated burden (Cognitive Impairment module [PDF–46K] BRFSS module).

In 2011, a total of 21 states added the Module as an optional module on their state BRFSS (Georgia added the module as state-added questions). In 2012, 23 states and the District of Columbia are including the module as state-added BRFSS questions. Frequently Asked Questions about the Module are available here.

These data lay the groundwork for advancing public health’s understanding about the burden of cognitive decline among American adults in the United States by providing data for states and territories. Information obtained from the Module can be used to understand gaps and who is most burdened by cognitive decline, develop state and national reports, inform state and local plans and policies, develop programs and community coalitions, and identify roles for public health.

In 2009, five states (CA, FL, IA, LA and MI) included the Module in their state BRFSS survey.  These data were highlighted in a series of model reports that were released in spring 2011.

For more information about BRFSS, please visit their Web site.

Cognitive Functioning Component — National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

CDC’s Healthy Aging Program is working with the National Center for Health Statistics to assess the inclusion of a cognitive function component on NHANES for adults aged 60 years and older. Questions on cognitive impairment as well as components that assess executive function, memory, processing speed, and attention will be included in the 2011–2012 NHANES survey.

  • For more information about NHANES, please visit their Web site.



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