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Behavioral Risk-Factor Prevalence Survey -- United States, Fourth Quarter 1982

During the fourth quarter of 1982, five states (Alaska, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming) conducted prevalence surveys of major behavioral risk factors among their adult populations through random-digit-dialing telephone surveys, and a sixth (South Carolina) conducted a similar survey through person-to-person/household interviewing (Table 5). Four of these states used a questionnaire with standard data items. Because Illinois and South Carolina used different questionnaires, some of the data items are not comparable to data items for other states. These self-reported data were adjusted for the demographic characteristics of their respective states and weighted according to the respondent's probability of selection (Illinois data were not weighted or adjusted because of differences in data tabulation procedures).

The data presented here are consistent with findings from similar state-based behavioral risk-factor surveys conducted in the first three quarters of 1982 (1-3). These surveys represent 26 states and the District of Columbia; their demographic and regional distinctions are confirmed by the present data (Table 5).

From 1980 through 1982, 36 states and the District of Columbia completed behavioral risk-factor surveys, which are useful in monitoring the health status of residents of these states. Because the behaviors reported here are so closely linked with the 10 leading causes of premature death in the United States, these behavioral factors are useful indicators of chronic disease and injury morbidity and mortality. From these surveys, CDC has expanded the concept of behavioral risk-factor assessment into a state-based "surveillance system" in which 19 states and the District of Columbia collect these kinds of data on a monthly basis. This system is expected to expand and become a surveillance data resource for the public health community. Results from this system will be reported in future MMWR articles. Reported by P Hefley, Div of Public Health, Alaska Dept of Health and Social Svcs; P Terry, Adult Health Section, California Dept of Health Svcs; D Patterson, Div of Education and Information, Illinois Dept of Public Health; C Becker, Office of the Deputy Secretary for Public Health, Pennsylvania Dept of Health; Daniel Lackland, Special Projects Section, South Carolina Dept of Health and Environmental Control; M Futa, Div of Prevention and Environmental Svcs, Wyoming Div of Health and Medical Svcs; 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. CDC. Behavioral risk factor prevalence surveys--United States, second quarter 1982. MMWR 1983;32:370-2.

  3. CDC. Behavioral risk-factor prevalence surveys--United States, third quarter 1982. MMWR 1983;32:603-4, 609-10.

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