National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Overview of DNA and NHANES

Blood samples are obtained from participants in the NHANES surveys. Most of the findings from the analyses of the blood samples are available immediately such as the data on cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the population. A small portion of the blood samples is stored to conduct later analyses on DNA samples. DNA provides important information on genetic or hereditary patterns of disease or risk of disease. While this information cannot be applied directly to individuals who participated in the survey it offers important clues on the causes of disease and the relationship between those diseases and risk factors. This information leads to advances in the prevention and treatment of disease.

For more information about how important genetic data is for research, go to the Genetic NHANES participants page.

Summaries of Research Projects Using NHANES DNA

Currently, summaries of research projects using DNA collected in 1991-1994 are available. DNA was also collected from 1999 to 2002 and beginning again in 2007. As research studies are conducted with the later DNA samples, those results will appear on the website.

View Detailed Summaries of Research Projects Using NHANES DNA page.

NHANES III Collaborative Genomics Project

In 2002, CDC’s Office of Public Health Genomics formed a multidisciplinary working group with members from across CDC to develop a proposal to measure the prevalence of selected genetic variants of public health significance in a representative sample of the U.S. population and to examine the associations between the selected genetic variants and disease outcomes available in NHANES III data. Go to the NHANES III Collaborative Genomics Project page for more information.