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Evonda Thomas, the City’s public health director, is urging residents to answer the questions posed on a telephone-based health survey from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The survey, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), seeks health information from a random sample of residents here and throughout the country.

NHANES has been conducted by the CDC and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) for nearly 50 years. It provides annual estimates on a range of diseases such as the number of individuals who have heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, respiratory disease, and other conditions.

Individuals selected for the survey represent the U.S. population of all ages. Additional emphasis in the current NHANES is placed on the health of older persons, African-Americans and Hispanics. Data from the survey, which takes several years to compile, says Ms. Thomas, helps to ascertain health trends across the county. “The survey [information] helps leverage dollars – capital and human resources – for the City,” Ms. Thomas says.