Tomorrow I hope to give you some updates on the status of America's Leading Health Indicators as reports were released today from the 2011 National Health Interview Survey.

The NHIS is a nationally representative survey of US Households. It randomly samples from all persons not living in institutions, therefore, nursing home or long term care residents, oversees military personal, citizens living abroad and prisoners are excluded. Within the randomly selected household from every state and DC, questions are asked about the household makeup and a joint interview of the family is conducted.  In that part, anyone who is aged 17 or older can contribute in answering the questions.  Separately, one adult is interviewed to answer questions about themselves and a randomly selected child..  All interviews take place in person with computer assisted technology.  There is no paper survey.  There is also no lab component and the dietary and activity questions are broad in nature.  I often refer to NHANES, which has a different method of  data collection.

The NHIS has been required by law since 1957 and was updated in 1997.  Supplements are added to the core components when new findings about health or disease require additional questions.  This is a voluntary survey.  It is expected that in 2011, 35,000 households and 87,500 people participated.

The main reason to collect the information is to monitor trends in illnesses and disability, to track the progress of LHIs, to explore the extent of and barriers to health care access and to evaluate federal  programs and policies.

I need a little more time to review the reports that were just released.  I only looked at the obesity numbers today (still high).  

I thought  that for now I would  give you the link to the webpage that identifies the LHIs.  It explains their purpose and notes the current goals for each one. e.g. X% of Americans should have a normal weight by the year 2020..

Click on this link to learn more.  The LHIs are in a column on the left.