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VA Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

About the Virginia BRFSS
The Virginia BRFSS is an annual survey of Virginia's adult population about individual behaviors that relate to chronic disease and injury. The BRFSS is the primary source of state-based information on health risk behaviors among adult populations.

 
 

Contact Staff

BRFSSrequest@vdh.virginia.gov
Virginia Department of Health
Office of Family Health Services
Division of Policy and Evaluation
109 Governor Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
804.864.7649 (phone)

Background

For more than 20 years, CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) has helped states survey U.S. adults to gather information about a wide range of behaviors that affect their health. The primary focus of these surveys has been on behaviors that are linked with the leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, injury and other important health issues.


Through the BRFSS surveys, CDC and the states have learned much about these and other harmful behaviors. This information is essential for planning, conducting and evaluating public health programs at the national, state and local levels. Private organizations also rely on the survey data to develop health promotion programs to reduce the prevalence of unhealthy behaviors and to document the effectiveness of these programs.


The BRFSS is a telephone survey conducted by the health departments of all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam with assistance from CDC. The BRFSS is the largest continuously conducted telephone health surveillance system in the world. States use BRFSS data to identify emerging health problems; to establish health objectives and track their progress toward meeting them, and to develop and evaluate public health policies and programs to address identified problems. The BRFSS is the primary source of information for states and the nation on the health-related behaviors of adults. States collect data through monthly interviews with adults aged 18 years or older. BRFSS interviewers ask questions related to behaviors that are associated with preventable chronic diseases, injuries and infectious diseases.


The BRFSS is flexible because it allows states to add timely questions specific to their needs. At the same time, standard core questions on the survey enable health professionals to make comparisons among states and local areas and also to reach national conclusions. BRFSS data have highlighted state-to-state differences on key health issues.


Information regarding the BRFSS can be found atwww.cdc.gov/brfss. This site contains documentation related to all aspects of the BRFSS project and specific information related to the implementation of BRFSS for each participating state plus the three participating territories.

 

Last Updated: 03-21-2014

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