Central Virginia Health District to Host National Health Survey

August 8, 2022

Media Contact: Kim Foster, MHA, kimberlee.foster@vdh.virginia.gov

Central Virginia Health District to Host National Health Survey 

The Central Virginia Health District (CVHD) announces that the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is coming to Campbell County and Lynchburg, VA, beginning on August 20, 2022.

NHANES is the most comprehensive survey of the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population.

Why Campbell County and Lynchburg? All counties and cities in the United States have a chance to be selected for the NHANES and, this year, portions of Campbell County and Lynchburg were picked as one of 15 areas selected to be part of this initiative. Each year, only 5,000 residents nationwide are chosen to participate in NHANES, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“We gladly encourage selected residents to participate in the NHANES process,” said Dr. Kerry Gateley, Health Director, CVHD. “NHANES provides us in public health with valuable information for creating, directing and improving programs that serve our communities.”

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 of the nation. NHANES data also help produce national references and standardized growth charts used by pediatricians across the country.

NHANES collects a broad range of data that affect the 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.  An NHANES team of health professionals, nutritionists, and health technicians is heading to Campbell County and the City of Lynchburg and urges 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 the area selected. By selecting participants this way, when combining data from all counties visited this year, NHANES data can more accurately 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 in their home is eligible to take part. Those 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 of those findings from survey medical staff. Participants will be provided local referral sources, if needed, in order to follow-up on findings. All information collected in the survey is kept confidential and individual privacy is protected by law.

NHANES provides important national data on critical public health issues. “NHANES serves as the nation’s ‘health check-up’ by going into communities throughout the country to collect health information,” 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.”

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