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Behavioral Risk Factor Prevalence Surveys -- United States, Second Quarter 1982

During the second quarter of 1982, eight States (Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Ohio) and the District of Columbia conducted prevalence surveys of major behavioral risk factors among their adult populations through random-digit-dialing telephone surveys (Table 2). A standard questionnaire was used in six of these states and the District of Columbia. These self-reported data were adjusted for sex and weighted according to the respondents' probability of selection. The data presented in Table 2 are consistent with findings from similar state-based behavioral risk factor surveys conducted in the first quarter of 1982 (1).

Use of a standard questionnaire with questions comparable to those used in national surveys allows these states to compare the prevalence of risks in their adult populations to national levels of risks. For example, the proportion of adults reporting cigarette smoking in these eight states and the District of Columbia ranges from a low of 23.4% in Kansas to a high of 37.1% in Kentucky and North Carolina. Nationally, the most recent report (1980) shows that the level of cigarette smoking is 32.4% (2). Chronic heavy drinking ranges from 3.8% in Ohio to 9.7% in Delaware and the District of Columbia. Nationally, approximately 9.0% of the adult population reports a chronic, heavy intake of alcoholic beverages (3). For people ages 20 to 74 years, approximately 14% of men and 24% of women nationally meet the criterion for obesity (120% of ideal weight) (4). These states report levels of obesity in men ranging from 17.4% in the District of Columbia to 27.6% in Ohio. For women, these states report obesity ranging from 16.7% in Montana to 28.9% in the District of Columbia. Reported by BL Johnson, Office of Health Education, Delaware Div of Public Health; SR Ross-Larson, Preventive Health Svcs Administration, Washington, DC Dept of Human Svcs; RF McClain, Div of Health Education, Indiana State Board of Health; VL Lockhart, Bureau of Health Education, Kansas Dept of Health and Environment; RT Ford, Div of Local Health, Kentucky Dept for Health Services; RW Moon, Health Services and Medical Facilities Div, Montana Dept of Health and Environmental Sciences; RS Ulinsky, Local Health and Regional Operations, New Jersey State Dept of Health; ML Cosby, Adult Health Section, North Carolina Div of Health Svcs; TJ Halpin, MD, State Epidemiologist, Ohio Dept of Health; Div of Nutrition, Center for Health Promotion and Education, CDC.


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

  2. National Center for Health Statistics. National health interview survey, 1980. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics, 1980.

  3. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration. Fourth special report to the U.S. Congress on alcohol and health. Rockville, Maryland: Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration, January 1981;1.

  4. U.S. Public Health Service. Promoting health/preventing disease: objectives for the nation. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Public Health Service, 1980;61,67-8,73,79.

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