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National Health Survey is Coming to Gaston County

Read this release in Spanish.

NHANES, the nation’s mobile health survey has been traveling across the country learning about health of the U.S. population since 1960.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the most comprehensive survey of the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population is coming to the County of Gaston beginning on October 18, 2021.

Why Gaston County? All counties and cities in the United States have a chance to be selected for the NHANES and this year, Gaston County is one of 15 counties that was selected to be part of this initiative.

Mobile Exam CenterWhy Should Every Eligible Resident Participate in NHANES?

  • Participants receive a free and comprehensive health and nutrition evaluation.
  • Participants help develop and evolve national health programs and policies.
  • Participants receive a token of appreciation for their time.
  • All information collected is confidential, as required by law.

Each year, only 5,000 residents across the nation have the chance to participate in NHANES, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

NHANES provides important national data on critical public health issues. “NHANES serves as the nation’s ‘health check-up,’ by going into communities to collect health information throughout the country,” said Brian C. Moyer, PhD, Director of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). “The survey provides a wealth of important data about many of the major health and nutritional issues affecting the country.” 

Since 1960, NHANES has had a prominent role in improving the health of all people living in the U.S. NHANES data address critical health concerns such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  Public health officials, legislators, and physicians use this information to develop sound health policies, direct and design health programs, and services, and expand the health knowledge for the nation. NHANES data are also used to produce national references and standardized growth charts used by pediatricians across the country.

The information this survey provides helps us better tailor the services we provide to the most pressing needs of our community,” Gaston County Public Health Director Steve Eaton said. “We encourage the community to participate and help us determine where to focus on our efforts and resources to help make Gaston County a healthier place for all of us.”

NHANES collects a broad range of data that impact the every-day lives of everyone in the country, regardless of age; addressing everything from air quality, to vaccinations and the low-fat and “light” foods found in grocery stores. Now more than ever, collecting timely information on the status of the nation’s health is critical.  A NHANES team of health professionals, nutritionists and health technicians is heading toward Gaston County and wants everyone who has been selected for the survey to participate.

Residents will have an invitation-only opportunity to participate in NHANES. Addresses are randomly sampled within Gaston County. By selecting participants this way, when combining data from all counties visited this year, NHANES data can represent the U.S. population.Households will be sent one or more letters inviting them to be part of NHANES by completing a brief online questionnaire to see if anyone is eligible to participate in their home. Anyone eligible will be contacted by an NHANES representative to set up a telephone health interview at a convenient time followed by a health examination that takes place in the NHANES mobile examination center.  While no medical care is provided directly in the mobile examination center, a report on physical findings is given to each participant along with an explanation from survey medical staff.  All information collected in the survey is kept confidential and privacy is protected by law.

NHANES is taking all the precautions needed as recommended by the CDC to keep survey participants and staff safe following CDC guidelines on social distancing, use of personal protective equipment, handwashing, and sanitation of the mobile examination center and all equipment.

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