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Current Trends Behavioral Risk-Factor Prevalence Surveys -- United States, Third Quarter 1982

During the third quarter of 1982, seven states (Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Texas) conducted prevalence surveys of major behavioral risk factors among their adult populations (Table 2). These surveys were conducted by random-digit-dialing telephone methods and used a standard questionnaire. The data have been adjusted for the age, race, and sex of each state's population and for the respondent's probability of selection from the household. The data presented are consistent with results from similar state-based behavioral risk-factor surveys populations (Table 2). These surveys were conducted by random-digit-dialing telephone methods and used a standard questionnaire. The data have been adjusted for the age, race, and sex of each state's population and for the respondent's probability of selection from the household. The data presented are consistent with results from similar state-based behavioral risk-factor surveys conducted during the first and second quarters of 1982 (1,2).

As the number of states reporting this information in a comparable fashion increases, some apparent regional distinctions are emerging. From the data presented here and previously (1,2), the following regional distinctions appear: (1) uncontrolled hypertension is more prevalent in the Southeastern states surveyed; (2) alcohol misuse, in all its forms reported here, is at consistently lower levels in the Southeastern states, with the exception of Florida; and (3) obesity is more prevalent in the Eastern states than in the Western states surveyed, even after age adjustment. Other risk factors, such as smoking, seatbelt use, and sedentary lifestyle, do not have such clear geographic distinctions.

The new state data are consistent with some of the demographic distinctions reported earlier. Some of these distinctions are: (1) alcohol misuse, in all its forms reported here, is more prevalent among men than among women; (2) risk of hypertension increases with age; (3) more men than women smoke cigarettes; and (4) obesity prevalence increases up to middle age and declines thereafter.

Various potential confounding factors, such as seasonality and the use of different interviewers, impose some constraints when comparing one state to another. However, the differences in survey results between states are often large enough to conclude that these differences can be used to identify priorities for public health programs and that state-specific information is needed to monitor the prevalence of these health indices over time. Reported by CP Liberato, Office of Health Education, Arizona Dept of Health Svcs; DJ Fries, Chronic Disease Section, Iowa State Dept of Health; RE Holmes, MD, Div of Health Education, Michigan Dept of Public Health; CE Sirc, Vital Records and Health Statistics, New Hampshire Div of Public Health Svcs; LW Pendley, Health Svcs Div, New Mexico Health and Environment Dept; JF Fortune, Health Promotion Section, Tennessee Dept of Health and Environment; HP Patterson, Planning Bureau, Texas Dept of Health; Div of Nutrition, Center for Health Promotion and Education, CDC.

References

  1. CDC. Behavioral risk factor prevalence surveys--United States, first quarter 1982. MMWR 1983;32:141-3.

  2. CDC. Behavioral risk factor prevalence surveys--United States, second quarter 1982. MMWR 1983;32:370-2.

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