New Snapshots of Every County's Health Now Available

Expanded Data on Health Behaviors, Risk Factors, Other Conditions

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 15, 2010) - Expanded snapshots of the health and health behaviors of adult New Yorkers, including data on rates of overweight and obesity, diabetes, physical activity and smoking, are now available for every county in New York State.

The data was gathered through the State Department of Health's (DOH) Expanded Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and are available on the Department's Web site.

The data was obtained from a random telephone survey conducted by DOH in 2008 and 2009. Approximately 650 interviews were conducted in each county to produce estimates representative of each county's adult population. Estimates were produced for New York City as a whole.

The data is used by county health departments, hospitals and health care and local agencies to design effective local public health interventions. Counties will use the data to identify new and existing health problems in their communities and to track the progress of public health initiatives developed to address these issues. DOH uses the data as it sets statewide public health priorities and policies.

The State's Expanded BRFSS builds on the annual statewide telephone Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System designed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The State conducted the first expanded survey in 2003. The 2009 Expanded BRFSS collected self-reported data on height and weight, diabetes, physical activity, nutrition, tobacco usage, access to care, cancer screening, flu immunizations, asthma, physical and mental health, binge drinking and injury-related indicators.

The following data are among the information that can be found in the 2009 Expanded BRFSS:

  • 59 percent of adults in New York State are overweight or obese.
  • Nine percent of adult New Yorkers reported having been diagnosed with diabetes, a 25 percent increase from 2003, when 7.2 percent of residents reported a diabetes diagnosis.
  • Almost 24 percent of adult New Yorkers said they did not engage in any leisure time physical activity during the previous 30 days.
  • The percentage of adults with some form of private or public health insurance remained at about 86 percent in 2009 and 2003.