Polk County Health Department

National Health Survey Underway in Polk County

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the most comprehensive survey of the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population is coming to Polk County beginning on April 6, 2019. Why Polk County?

All counties in the United States have a chance to be selected for the NHANES and this year, Polk County is one of 15 counties that was selected to be part of this initiative. NHANES provides important data on public health problems from a national perspective.

Each year, 5,000 residents across the nation have the chance to participate in the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“NHANES serves as the nation’s ‘health check-up,’ by going into communities to collect health information throughout the country,” said NCHS Director Jennifer H. Madans.“The survey provides a wealth of important data about many of the major health and nutritional issues effecting the country.” 

For the past 55 years, NHANES has had a prominent role in improving the health of all people living in the U.S. Public health officials, legislators, and physicians use the information gathered in NHANES to develop sound health policies, direct and design health programs and services, and expand the health knowledge for the nation. NHANES findings provide critical health-related information on a number of issues such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, NHANES data are used to produce national references and are used to create standardized growth charts for pediatricians across the country.

“We are excited that Polk County has been selected as a location for this important health survey,” said Helen Eddy, Polk County Health Department Director.  “The information gathered in Polk County will help inform the health policies, services, and programs for the nation. We encourage all eligible residents, who receive an invitation, to participate in the survey and learn something about their health.”

Now, an NHANES team of health professionals, nutritionists and health technicians is heading toward Polk County and wants everyone who has been selected for the survey to agree to participate.

Residents will have an invitation-only opportunity to participate in NHANES. Individuals have been selected at random (in a process similar to taking names out of a hat) for NHANES, and include all ages, races, and ethnicities in order to represent the U.S. population as a whole. Respondents first participate in a health interview conducted in the respondent’s home followed by a health examination that takes place in the NHANES mobile examination center.

While no medical care is provided directly in the mobile examination center, a report on physical findings is given to each participant along with an explanation from survey medical staff. All information collected in the survey is kept confidential and privacy is protected by law.


Contact Us

Phone: (515)-286-3798
Fax: (515)-286-2033

Address: 1907, Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314