Publication Abstract

Authors: Pleis JR, Lucas JW, Ward BW

Title: Summary health statistics for U.S. adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2008.

Journal: Vital Health Stat 10 (242):1-157

Date: 2009 Dec

Abstract: OBJECTIVES: This report presents health statistics from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for the civilian noninstitutionalized adult population, classified by sex, age, race and ethnicity, education, family income, poverty status, health insurance coverage, marital status, and place and region of residence. Estimates are presented for selected chronic conditions and mental health characteristics, functional limitations, health status, health behaviors, health care access and utilization, and human immunodeficiency virus testing. Percentages and percent distributions are presented in both age-adjusted and unadjusted versions. SOURCE OF DATA: NHIS is a household, multistage probability sample survey conducted annually by interviewers of the U.S. Census Bureau for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. In 2008, data were collected on 21,781 adults in the Sample Adult questionnaire. The conditional response rate was 74.2%, and the final response rate was 62.6%. The health information for adults in this report was obtained from one randomly selected adult per family. In very rare instances where the sample adult was not able to respond for himself or herself, a proxy was used. HIGHLIGHTS: In 2008, 61% of adults 18 years of age or over reported excellent or very good health. Fifty-nine percent of adults had never participated in any type of vigorous leisure-time physical activity, and 16% of adults did not have a usual place of health care. Twelve percent of adults had been told by a doctor or health professional that they had heart disease, and 24% had been told on two or more visits that they had hypertension. Twenty-one percent of all adults were current smokers, and 21% were former smokers. Based on estimates of body mass index, 35% of adults were overweight and 27% were obese.