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Highlights 2002

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

About the BRFSS survey

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a random telephone survey of state residents age 18 and older in households with telephones. The BRFSS Survey was initially developed in the early 1980s by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with state health departments, and is currently being conducted in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and three United States territories. The BRFSS is the longest- running and largest telephone health survey in the world. In 2002, approximately 220,000 adults were interviewed nationwide, including 6,748 North Carolinians.

The North Carolina Division of Public Health has participated in the BRFSS since 1987. Through the BRFSS Survey, information is collected in a routine, standardized manner at the state level on a variety of health behaviors and preventive health practices related to the leading causes of death and disability, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis. BRFSS interviews are conducted monthly and data are analyzed at the end of each year.

For the 2002 survey, the North Carolina BRFSS Program conducted a total of 6,748 interviews in both English and Spanish. The 2002 questionnaire included 156 questions from 30 different modules on the topics of Health Care Access, Exercise, Asthma, Diabetes, Oral Health, Immunization, Tobacco Use, Alcohol Consumption, Family Planning, Women's Health, Prostate and Colorectal Cancer Screening, Asthma History, Childhood Asthma, Arthritis, Physical Activity, Weight Control, Cancer Prevalence, Disability, Quality of Life, Sexual Assault, Physical Violence, and Perceived Racism (see the 2002 questionnaire).

The 2002 sample design included over-sampling of ten North Carolina counties to produce county-level BRFSS estimates. The remaining 90 counties in the state were divided into three regions, primarily consisting of rural counties. The 2002 results for each question are available on the BRFSS web site by sex, race, Hispanic origin and language (English, Spanish-only), age group, education level, household income, and county and region. For the first time in the history of the NC BRFSS Program, the 2002 data provide estimates on the health of Native Americans, Hispanics speaking Spanish-only, and Asian Americans. The new BRFSS Survey results provide public health planners and program providers with a closer look at the health and well-being of North Carolina's minority populations, as well as that of the state's general population.

Highlights from the 2002 North Carolina BRFSS survey results:


Return to 2002 BRFSS Annual Results Table of Contents