Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an annual statewide random telephone and cellular surveillance survey designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The survey is conducted in all 50 states and US territories. BRFSS monitors modifiable risk behaviors and other factors contributing to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the population. Data from the BRFSS are useful for planning, initiating, and supporting health promotion and disease prevention programs at the state and federal level, and monitoring progress toward achieving health objectives for the state and nation. New York State's BRFSS sample is representative of the non-institutionalized civilian adult population, aged 18 years and older.

The 2020 public use dataset and supporting documentation are now available on Health Data NY.

2018 BRFSS health indicators by county and region are now available

Local health indicators by county and region based on 2018 BRFSS data are available via Health Data NY. 2018 local data are available for over 40 indicators at the county, DSRIP region, NYC/ROS, and state levels. More detail is available on the Expanded Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System page.

Survey Respondents

Data collection for the BRFSS is currently conducted by ICF Macro, Inc. via call centers located throughout the United States. This is a legitimate data collection effort conducted on behalf of the NYS Department of Health for the purpose of supporting a range of NYS public health programs. Although your participation is encouraged, the survey is voluntary. Our interviewers will not ask you for your last name, address, or other personal information that can identify you. The information you provide will not be connected to any personal information. If you have any questions or concerns about participating in the BRFSS survey or want to verify that you were selected for the survey, you may contact the BRFSS coordinator via BRFSS@health.ny.gov (email) or (518) 473-0673 (phone).

Annual BRFSS Datasets and Metadata

Statewide representative samples are collected monthly and aggregated into yearly datasets made available to the public.

County Level Data

Expanded BRFSS augments the annual CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (BRFSS). The goal of Expanded BRFSS is to collect county-specific data on preventative health practices, risk factors, injuries, and preventable chronic and infectious diseases. Topics assessed by the Expanded BRFSS include tobacco use, physical inactivity, diet, use of cancer screening services and other factors linked to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. County level data are currently available for 2002-03, 2008-09, 2013-14, 2016 and 2018. The 2021 BRFSS was designed to support county level data. Data collection will end in December 2021.

Data Requests

Access to BRFSS or Expanded BRFSS datasets with select non-public variables is available upon request with approval. Requestors will need to complete a data request form, and a confidentiality agreement. Both documents are obtained via email request: BRFSS@health.ny.gov

Technical assistance is available for BRFSS data users upon request.

BRFSS Program Specific Summary Reports

New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) generated BRFSS Program Specific Summary Reports are available in electronic format from 1995 through present.

Briefs

Briefs are available under the following categories: Adverse Childhood Experiences, Alcohol Use, Arthritis, Asthma, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Disease Self-Management, Cognitive Decline, Diabetes, Disability, Epilepsy, Injury, Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity, Physical Activity, Prediabetes, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Tobacco, Vision and Worker Health.

Information for Action (IFA)

The Information for Action (IFA) is a one-page category specific communication that provides relevant data to mobilize public health action. IFAs are available under the following categories: County-Specific, Access to Quality Health Care, Arthritis, Asthma, Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Prediabetes, Multiple Chronic Diseases, Disability and Health, Healthy Mothers Babies and Children, Obesity, Physical Activity, Nutrition, Tobacco, Unintentional Injuries and Worksites.

Health Data New York

Health Data NY is an open data site devoted solely to New York State Department of Health data, accompanied by targeted public health messaging, extensive metadata and customized visualizations.

CDC BRFSS Website

National level questionnaires, datasets, survey results, documentation and much more are all available at the CDC's BRFSS website.

For more information, contact the BRFSS program at:

  • New York State Department of Health, ESP Corning Tower Rm 1084, Albany, NY 12237
  • Phone: (518) 473-0673
  • Email:BRFSS@health.ny.gov