Tag Archives: NHANES

Federal health survey checks up on Queens


| RubenMuniz@queenscourier.com

health survey

Queens has begun its checkup.

The borough was tapped back in March to participate in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which studies trends throughout the country — including hypertension, diabetes and obesity.

The survey began at Queens Hospital Center on May 1 in a group of interconnected trailers equipped with state-of-the-art medical technology. So far, about 250 Queens residents have been selected for the program.

Jacque DeMatteis, study manager for NHANES in Queens, said this is a result typical of larger cities where NHANES is held due to the hustle and bustle of city dwellers’ schedules, as opposed to smaller towns where more people are eager and available to participate.

Still, DeMatteis said she’s glad the survey has reached the buzzing borough.

“[Queens’ diversity] is one of the things that is extremely beneficial for us,” she said. “Our sample is drawn on gender, age, race and ethnicity, and everyone is here in Queens.”

The screening and selecting phase of the survey started on May 1. The actual process of testing and sampling participants will run along with the screening and selecting phase until June 26.

The program assesses fitness levels of people of all ages, and provides an opportunity to gain information on one’s health, survey officials said. Information in areas such as oral, nutritional and auditory health is gathered by health professionals with advanced technological equipment. Officials said the NHANES trailers include a soundproof auditory lab, a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) machine and a laboratory complete with blood, urine, and HPV test samples.

DeMatteis said NHANES surveys conducted in the 1960s and 1970s found a correlation between low folic acid and birth defects, as a result of data gathered from pregnant women. The survey is also responsible for finding harmful effects in lead paint and gasoline, DeMatteis said.

The survey extends to 15 different locations throughout the United States on an ongoing basis and reaches up to 6,000 people a year, said Jeff Lancashire, spokesperson for the National Center for Health Statistics.

Lancashire said a few hundred residents in Queens will be contacted — by invite only — through June, based on a random sampling from the most recent Census. If selected, they will receive a letter in the mail and a follow-up phone call.

The elected volunteers will first be asked to answer a health interview questionnaire, Lancashire said, before participating in a comprehensive physical at one of the agency’s mobile examination sites.

Queens tapped for health survey


| mchan@queenscourier.com

A major national health survey is calling for the help of Queens residents.

Officials said the borough was tapped to participate in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which studies health trends throughout the country — including hypertension, diabetes and obesity.

“People who participate provide us with a knowledge base of what conditions are more prevalent in the country and how that changes over time. It enables us to see if certain trends are going up or going down,” said Jeff Lancashire, spokesperson for the National Center for Health Statistics. “Since it’s based on examination data, it’s considered more of a valuable and accurate health profile of the country than just straight interviews.”

Lancashire said a survey conducted in the 1970s found high levels of lead in the blood of over 70 percent of the country’s population. Eventually, he said, it led to the removal of lead in paint and gasoline. Further follow-up studies afterward showed “virtually wiped out” lead levels, Lancashire said.

High cholesterol levels, discovered during surveys in the 1960s and 1970s, also led to dietary changes across the nation, Lancashire said.

“That level has now dropped from a national standpoint,” he said.

The survey extends to 15 different locations throughout the United States on an ongoing basis, Lancashire said, reaching up to 6,000 people a year. Though counties are chosen through a random draw, he said Queens was picked partly due to its diverse population.

Lancashire said a few hundred residents in Queens will be contacted — from April through June — based on a random sampling from the most recent Census. If selected, they will receive a letter in the mail and a follow-up phone call.

The elected volunteers will first be asked to answer a health interview questionnaire before participating in a comprehensive physical at one of the agency’s mobile examination sites, officials said.

NHANES has been around for 50 years, Lancashire said, and it has already made two stops in New York. Manhattan and Brooklyn residents participated in a survey conducted several years ago, he said.