Cliff Johnson, Division Director, DHANES

Greetings from the Director of NHANES

I am pleased to send you the inaugural issue of the NHANES E-newsletter!

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) launched the first cycle of the National Health Examination Survey (NHES) in October, 1959, and we are approaching the 50th anniversary. I invite you to join us in looking back over the years at the growth of the NHANES program, and at the contributions the program has made to improve the health of the U.S. population.

Our accomplishments are largely attributable to the dedication of the entire NHANES team…

A golden anniversary is a significant milestone. We will take this opportunity to recognize past achievements and to consider future directions. Our accomplishments are largely attributable to the dedication of the entire NHANES team: our staff, collaborators, contractors, friends and users from the scientific and academic communities. I invite all of you to share any stories and photographs you may have to help us mark this important anniversary.

In this and future issues of the E-newsletter we will be remembering the survey’s beginnings, emerging health problems that the survey helped to identify, and important health conditions the survey has tracked over time. We also plan to use this newsletter to share more recent survey progress and new releases. We hope this newsletter will serves as a channel for updated information, and a bridge for connecting the whole NHANES community.

Please join us in the celebration, and we look forward to hearing from you often!

s/ Cliff Johnson, Division Director, DHANES/NCHS

To submit to the newsletter, please send your item to NHANESNews@CDC.GOV.

Components Cycling In and Out for 2009-2010

New Examination Items
  • Caffeine
  • Celiac Disease - Including IgA-TTG and IgA-EMA testing
  • Inflammatory Arthritis - Including HLAB27 testing
  • Markers of immunization status - Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella
  • Oral Human Papillomavirus
  • Osmolality
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Urine Albumin (2nd measure)
  • Urine flow rate calculation
New Questionnaire Items
  • Dietary Screener
  • Inflammatory Back Pain
Exam Components Cycling Out
  • Gonorrhea
  • Retinal Images
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Field Testing
Questionnaire Components Cycling Out
  • Social Support
  • Vision

Data Released in January and February

  • Vitamin C (2005-2006)
  • Total Arsenics and Speciated Arsenics (2005-2006)
  • Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry - Femur (2005-2006)
  • Dietary Interview - Vitamin K and 3-Methylhistidine (NHANES III)

The most recent NHANES releases can be found on the What's New page at: /nchs/nhanes/new_nhanes.htm

party hat

Upcoming 50th Anniversary Celebration

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the National Health Examination Survey, the precursor to NHANES. NCHS is planning to celebrate the survey's history and future with various activities and events. A committee has been formed at NCHS to plan these events. If you would like to be a part of the planning committee, or have stories, pictures, or other memorabilia to share related to the past 50 years of NHES and NHANES, please contact us at NHANESNews@CDC.GOV.

NHANES Web Tutorial Achieves New Milestones

After several years of intensive development, the NHANES web tutorial main course is complete. In addition, two new milestones were recently achieved. First, the main tutorial for the continuous and historic NHANES became the proud recipient of a 2008 CDC Director’s Innovation Award. Second, the basic analytic course of the NHANES dietary tutorial was launched in 2009, making it a much-anticipated New Year’s gift to the dietary and nutrition community!

The NHANES tutorials simulate a real life experience of how to conduct an analytical project, with a step-by-step logical flow through typical analytic procedures. Relevant NHANES data information and nuances, tips and explanations for SAS, SUDAAN or Stata programs, downloadable sample program code, and analytical guidance are organized and integrated into different modules and tasks to facilitate this learning process.

Since its inception, the tutorial has averaged more than 10,000 hits monthly, making it a very accessible and frequently used analytic tool. The main tutorial and the dietary tutorial are both accredited for continuing professional education credits.

The main tutorial was developed by the NCHS/NHANES tutorial team in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of NIH. The dietary tutorial was developed jointly by NCI/NIH, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of USDA, and NCHS/CDC.

Tutorial courses completed thus far:

  • Main tutorial for continuous NHANES (1999-present)
  • Supplemental modules for NHANES I, II & III
  • SAS, SUDAAN and STATA programming tracks
  • Dietary tutorial – basic courses

Tutorial courses planned for the future:

  • Advanced analytic modules for dietary data and other continuous NHANES data
  • Modules on special topics such as DXA, prescription medication, and environmental data
View the tutorials: /nchs/tutorials/

Then & Now

See how much has changed since NCHS first fielded the survey!

Example Then Now
Data Collection Paper and pencil instrument, data entered through punched cards Computerized collection, same day downloading and processing
Staff for each Mobile Examination Center (7) - 1 physician,
1 dentist,
2 technicians,
1 nurse,
1 interviewer, and
1 receptionist/
interviewer
(17) - 1 manager,
1 coordinator,
1 physician,
3 medical technologists,
4 health technologists,
1 dental hygienist,
2 interviewers,
2 dietary interviewers,
1 phlebotomist, and a local assistant
Household Interviewers 4-7 Census interviewers for each survey location and specialized NHANES staff to deal with refusals 10-14 contract interviewers per survey location

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