DETROIT — Wayne County has been selected for the National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) which is conducted by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the next few weeks CDC
representatives will be visiting homes in the region to ask short and easy
questions about one or more residents. The representative will provide official
She or he will also arrange a convenient time to schedule
your appointment at the mobile examination center, where a number of tests will
A report of medical and dental findings will be given to
each participant. Participating adults will receive free health tests of up to
$4,255 in value. Additionally $125
is given to adults at the mobile examination center. Children are given $40.
Other types of financial incentives are distributed. Transportation is provided to and from the mobile center if
necessary. It takes 10-12 weeks to complete the report of findings according to
NHANES Study Manager, Janis Eklund.
The National Arab American Medical Association (NAAMA) is
encouraging Arab Americans to participate in this major national effort, which
gathers information to assess the health and nutritional status of children and
adults living in the United States. “It is critical that the Arab American
community be represented in the survey so the health care needs of this
population are identified and addressed by both government agencies and the
private sector,” NAAMA President Mouhanad Hammami said.
All information is kept strictly confidential, and protected
by public laws. “There is no way anyone can get this information,”
Eklund said. Participants are selected and can’t volunteer. Those who don’t
participate will not be replaced.
Answering the questions is voluntary, and residents can decide not to
answer any. There are no penalties or loss of benefits of any kind from
refusing to answer. “What the
CDC is looking for is trends. Something that is appearing in that
population,” Eklund said.
Institutions that use the data collected in the surveys
include the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, American Heart Association,
American Diabetes Association and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
News agencies that have reported the data are the New York Times, CNN, USA
Today among others.
“You will be among the many people in towns and cities
across the country that help us increase our knowledge about the health of
people in the United States…We will use the information only for statistical
research and reports. Your answers will be added to others, so no one can
identify which are yours,” said Director of NHANES, Edward J. Sondik,
The process of picking the homes and counties are
simple. All the counties in the
United States are divided into 15 groups based on their characteristics. One
county is selected from each large group, and together they form the 15
counties in the NHANES surveys for the year.
Within each county, smaller groups (with a large number of
households in each group) are formed, and between 20-24 of these small groups
are selected. All of the houses or apartments within those selected small
groups are identified, and a sample of about 30 households are selected within
NHANES interviewers go to each selected household and ask
for information (age, race, gender, and general income level) on all persons in
the household. A computer algorithm randomly selects some, all, or none of the
household members. “The
computer could be looking for someone who is one-years-old or
75-years-old,” Eklund said.
Each person selected may represent up to 65,000 similar people in the
For further information
call the NHANES office at 800.452.6115 or visit www.cdc.gov/nhanes. To reach
NHANES Study Manager Janis Eklund call 800.398.1394.