Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
BEHAVIORAL RISK FACTOR SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM
With 200,000 interviews annually, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the world's largest telephone survey. Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these ongoing surveys of health risks of the American public are conducted in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands). The availability of data from the states (and frequently from major cities) on behavioral health risk factors and use of preventive services has been an invaluable tool for health promotion. Data have helped to establish baselines; track trends; assess geographic, age, race, and gender differences; benchmark programs; set priorities and plan interventions; evaluate the impact of programs; support legislative and budgetary actions; and raise public awareness about important health issues. Data are available at www.cdc.gov/nccdphp.brfss.
DENNIS D. TOLSMA
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2000). Tracking Major Health Risks in America. Atlanta, GA: Author.