|Dataset Full Name||National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey|
|Summary||The National Center for Health Statistics conducts the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to measure health parameters and the nutritional status of a nationally representitive sample of adults and children in the United States. It combines both survey and physical examination data that are conducted and collected at mobile examination centers (MEC) that travel to selected sites throughout the country. The MEC consist of four large trailers that contain all of the diagnostic equipment and personnel necessary to conduct a wide range of both physical and biochemical evaluations. Interviews and physical examinations are conducted to collect the health information. The NHANES interview includes demographic, socioeconomic, dietary, and health-related questions. The examination component consists of medical, dental, and physiological measurements (height, weight, and blood pressure), as well as laboratory tests.|
|Key Terms||Nutrition, CDC, Prevalence, Children, Health, Survey, National|
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
|Health Conditions/Disability Measures|
Allergies, Alzheimer's/dementia, Anxiety disorders, Arthritis, Blood disorder, Body mass index (BMI)/obesity, Burns, Cancer, Cardiovascular conditions, Chronic pain, Congenital conditions, Depression, Diabetes, Heart attack, Infectious diseases, Kidney/renal condition, Orthopedic conditions, Osteoporosis, Pulmonary disorders, Stroke
|Disability Measures||Ambulatory disability, Cognitive disability, Developmental disabilities, Functional limitations (ADLs and/or IADLs), Hearing disability, Independent living disability, Intellectual disability, Mental health disability, Physical disability, Self-care disability, Special equipment use/assistive technology, Visual disability, Work limitation||Measures/Outcomes of Interest|
Nutritional assessment component: dietary intake, nutrition-related information, anthropometric data, and hematological examination.
Physical examination data: blood samples, and detailed questions regarding demographics, physiological measurements, reproductive health and dental examination.
Risk factor data: smoking, alcohol consumption, sexual practices, drug use, physical fitness and physical activities, weight, heredity factors, environmental exposure.
|Sample Population||A multi-stage probability sample of non-institutionalized individuals in the United States|
|Sample Size/Notes||2013-2014: 14,332 screened; 10,175 interviewed; 9,813 examined|
|Unit of Observation||Individual|
|Geographic specificity||National||Data Collection|
|Data Collection Mode||
Health interviews are conducted in participants’ homes.
Health measurements are performed in specially-designed and equipped mobile centers. The study team consists of a physician, medical and health technicians, as well as dietary and health interviewer
NHANES I: 1971-1975
NHANES II: 1976–1980
NHANES III: 1988–1994
NHANES 1999-2000, 2001-2002, 2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2007-2008, 2009-2010, 2011-2012, 2013-2014, 2015-2016, 2017-2018, and beyond
|Data Collection Frequency||Annual (1999-present)||Strengths and Limitations|
Sample designed to be representitive of the U.S. population of all ages. To produce reliable estimates, the NHANES over-samples persons 60 and older and minority population including African Americans and Hispanics.
Comprehensive test results and measurements including respiratory health, bone health, visual, and hearing exams. Provides data for estimates of previously undiagnosed conditions.
Data can be used to determine the national standards for various physiological measurements including height, weight, and blood pressure.
Data can be used to determine the prevalence of major diseases and associated risk factors for diseases including environmental exposures.
No participant follow-up. Some NHANES data elements are limited access, or restricted data (https://wwwn.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/search/datapage.aspx?Component=Non-Public&CycleBeginYear=2013).
Restricted data require an application to access at a NCHS Research Data Center (https://www.cdc.gov/rdc/). Sample does not include people working in U.S. armed forces or those staying outside of the country.
|Data Access Requirements||
Public Use Dataset
Data use agreement, No cost (limited access datasets)
Demographics files: contain survey design variables such as weights, strata and primary sampling units,and demographic variables.
Dietary files: dietary intake variables including: foods, beverages, and dietary supplements.
Examination files: information collected through physical exams and dental exams.
Laboratory files: results from analyses of blood, urine, hair, air, tuberculosis skin test, household dust and water specimens.
Questionnaire files: data collected through household and mobile examination center interviews.
Limited access: restricted access data including DNA
NHANES selected bibliography 1999-present:
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