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Am J Public Health. 2009 Jan;99(1):152-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.117010. Epub 2008 Jun 12.

Contributions of a local health examination survey to the surveillance of chronic and infectious diseases in New York City.

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  • 1Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 W 168th St, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10032, USA.



We sought to evaluate the contribution of the New York City Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NYC-HANES) to local public health surveillance.


Examination-diagnosed estimates of key health conditions from the 2004 NYC-HANES were compared with the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2004 national estimates. Findings were also compared with self-reported estimates from the Community Health Survey (CHS), an annually conducted local telephone survey.


NYC-HANES estimated that among NYC adults, 25.6% had hypertension, 25.4% had hypercholesterolemia, 12.5% had diabetes, and 25.6% were obese. Compared with US adults, NYC residents had less hypertension and obesity but more herpes simplex 2 and environmental exposures (P<.05). Obesity was higher and hypertension was lower than CHS self-report estimates (P<.05). NYC-HANES and CHS self-reported diabetes estimates were similar (9.7% vs 8.7%).


NYC-HANES and national estimates differed for key chronic, infectious, and environmental indicators, suggesting the need for local data. Examination surveys may provide more accurate information for underreported conditions than local telephone surveys. Community-level health and nutrition examination surveys complement existing data, providing critical information for targeting local interventions.

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