SAN DIEGO COUNTY: CDC Health Surveyors Enlist Participants
A survey team for the CDC's annual National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey hit San Diego County this week to weed out "522 demographically representative people" for participation in the study, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Seventeen surveyors are going door-to-door to sign up participants matching the study's demographic needs, who each will answer an hour of questions pertaining to their health, diet and other activities. Respondents also privately relay information about sexual behavior and drug use through notebook computers and then visit a "traveling compound of four huge trailers" to undergo a three- hour physical examination and fitness test, during which "[t]heir teeth will be checked, their eyes and ears tested, their blood drawn for 120 analyses, their bone structures scanned, their dexterity evaluated and their hearts tested on a treadmill." The CDC study, which annually surveys about 5,000 people in 15 counties nationwide, is the "only national study of health status in which all subjects are examined by physicians," according to Jim Donovan, field operations coordinator for the San Diego team. "It's the only real-time study of how we're doing," he said, noting that past surveys have revealed problematic trends, such as high blood lead levels and rising obesity, and have been used to help write medical standards for physicians. The study this year will look at "equilibrium, cardiovascular fitness, visual acuity, skin cancer risk, tuberculosis, mercury exposure, ... anemia, osteoporosis, mental health, kidney disease, infectious diseases, environmental exposures, nutrition, diabetes and other health conditions." Thus far, "people have been very receptive," Donovan said; interviewers have enlisted 120 participants, who receive full reports on their health and $100 for their time (Duerksen, 11/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.