National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

Topic/focus: General Health and Nutrition
Year(s): 1999 - present (two year intervals)
Source: National Center for Health Statistics
Study and sample characteristics: Interview, physical exam
Universe: Non-institutionalized civilians aged two months and older
Variables: 3,000+
Access: Publically available
Cost: Free
Key web links: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
Primary Institutional Contact: EDRC Coordinator (

Summary: Beginning in 1999, the NHANES became a continuous, annual survey rather than the periodic survey that it had been in the past. In addition to the analysis of data from any two-year cycle, it is possible to combine two or more cycles (e.g. 1999-00 and 2001-02), provided the data items of interest in all combined years are comparable in wording and methods. Population target groups vary for topics within and between NHANES questionnaire sections. Many of the NHANES 1999-2000 questions were previously asked in NHANES II and III and HHANES. Some of the 60+ topics covered by the NHANES 1999-2000 include oral health, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, HIV, and dietary intake. There are 40+ topics addressed by the NHANES 2001-2002, including blood pressure, diabetes, STIs, diet behavior and nutrition, and immunizations.