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Appendix A. Technical Note and Guide to Sources

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Health Interview Survey
The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is a continuing nationwide sample survey of the noninstitutionalized civilian population for which data are collected during household interviews. Interviewers obtain information on personal and demographic characteristics, including race and ethnicity, through self-reports or reports by a member of the household. Interviewers also collect data on illnesses, injuries, impairments, chronic conditions, activity limitations caused by chronic conditions, utilization of health services, and other health topics. Each year the survey is reviewed and special topics are added or deleted. For most health topics, the survey collects data over an entire year.
Tables 42, 43, 44, and 46 report NHIS data.

For more information on NHIS, see

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Summary of Notifiable Diseases

The Summary of Notifiable Diseases, a publication of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), contains the official statistics, in tabular and graphic form, for the reported occurrence of nationally notifiable infectious diseases in the United States. These statistics are collected and compiled from reports sent by state health departments and territories to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS), which is operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.

Table 45 includes data from the MMWR: Summary of Notifiable Diseases.

For more information on the MMWR: Summary of Notifiable Diseases, see

National Vital Statistics System

The National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) is the method by which data on births, deaths, marriages, and divorces are provided to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The data are provided to NCHS through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program (VSCP). In 1984 and earlier years, the VSCP included varying numbers of states that provided data based on a 100 percent sample of their birth certificates. Data for states not in the VSCP were based on a 50 percent sample of birth certificates filed in those states. Population data used to compile birth rates are based on special estimation procedures and are not actual counts.

Race and Hispanic ethnicity are reported separately in the NVSS. Data are available for non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks for 1990 and later; however, for 1980 and 1985, data for Whites and Blacks may include persons of Hispanic ethnicity. For all years, Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native categories include persons of Hispanic ethnicity.

Tables 7, 51 and 51a use NVSS data.

For more information on the NCHS and the NVSS, see

Youth Risk Behavior Survey

The national school-based Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is one component of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), an epidemiological surveillance system developed to monitor the prevalence of youth behaviors that most influence health. The YRBS uses a three-stage cluster sampling design to produce a nationally representative sample of students in grades 9–12 in the United States. 

Tables 34, 49, and 50 present YRBS data.

For more information on the YRBS, see

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

National Survey on Drug Use and Health

Conducted by the federal government since 1971, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is an annual survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States age 12 or older. It is the primary source of information on the prevalence, patterns, and consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug abuse. The survey collects data by administering questionnaires to a representative sample of the population (since 1999, the NSDUH interview has been carried out using computer-assisted interviewing). The NSDUH collects information from residents of households, noninstitutional group quarters, and civilians living on military bases. The main results of the NSDUH present national estimates of rates of use, numbers of users, and other measures related to illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco products.

Tables 47 and 48 use NSDUH data.

For more information on the NSDUH, see