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Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program

Health-Related Surveys for Epidemiologists

The following health-related surveys may provide data and/or survey instruments which may be useful for cancer epidemiology studies.

NCI-Supported Surveys & Related Resources

  • American Time Use Survey
    This survey, conducted by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, is designed to collect information on how Americans spend their time on work, household chores, child care, recreation and other activities.
    • 2006-2008 Eating and Health Module of the ATUS
      This module, developed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) with assistance from NCI staff, includes statistics on time spent in eating and drinking activities, grocery shopping, and meal preparation for the population age 15 and older and for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program). Data are also presented on measures of the health status (such as Body Mass Index, or BMI) of the population by time spent in various activities.
    • Metabolic Equivalent of Task Values for Activities in ATUS and 2002 Census Occupational Classification System
      This NCI web page contains tables from a 2009 publication on ATUS activities and a 2011 publication on OCS activities.
  • Catalogue of Surveillance SystemsExternal Web Site Policy
    One-stop access to more than 100 publicly available datasets relevant to childhood obesity research, developed by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research. NCI staff are the project leads for the development and maintenance of this tool.
  • Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS)
    HINTS is a nationally representative, biennial telephone survey of 8,000 randomly selected adults. NCI and extramural communication researchers are analyzing data to gain insight into people's knowledge about cancer, the communication channels through which they obtain health information, and their cancer-related behaviors.
  • National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
    NHANES is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the US. The survey is unique in that it combines interviews and physical examinations. Access to NHANES data is free after NCHS data release. NCI has provided funds to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) to support NHANES modules that are critical to our risk factor monitoring mission, including dietary and physical activity assessment.
    • NCI and other institutes at NIH supported measures of grip strength and wrist-worn accelerometer devices in NHANES 2011-2014 and hip-worn accelerometer devices in 2003-2006. Data is available on an NCI physical activity assessment resources webpage.
    • Previous NCI-supported modules include the Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) and a waist-worn physical activity monitor in the NHANES from 2003 - 2006. The FFQ data can be used to help estimate usual dietary intakes.
    • NHANES tutorials on datasets and documentation, sample design, weighting, variance estimation, reliability of estimates, dietary analyses, sample code, and software tips.
  • National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Cancer Control Supplement
    The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is a continuous nationwide in-person survey of approximately 35,000 households conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics of the CDC and administered by the U.S. Census Bureau. NCI sponsors an annual Cancer Control Supplement to the NHIS which focuses on issues pertaining to knowledge, attitudes, and practices of cancer-related health behaviors, screening, and risk assessment. The Supplement also extends core information about physical activity.
  • Physician Surveys
    NCI conducted several physician surveys to track the use of screening modalities, therapies, new genomic technologies, and other factors that may influence the cancer burden nationally. These include National Surveys of Colorectal Cancer Screening Policies and Practices; Physician Survey on Cancer Susceptibility Testing; National Survey of Primary Care Physicians’ Recommendations & Practice for Breast, Cervical, Colorectal and Lung Cancer Screening; National Survey of Energy Balance-Related Care Among Primary Care Physicians; Survey of Physicians’ Attitudes Regarding the Care of Cancer Survivors; and a National Survey of Precision Medicine in Cancer Treatment.
  • Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS)
    This is an NCI-sponsored survey of tobacco use that has been administered as part of the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. TUS-CPS is a key source of national and state level data on smoking and other tobacco use in the U.S. household population.

Other US Government Agency Health-Related Surveys

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
    The world's largest, on-going telephone health survey system, tracking health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States yearly since 1984. Currently, data are collected monthly in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.
  • California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)External Web Site Policy
    CHIS is the largest state health survey in the United States. It provides population-based, standardized health-related data from 55,000 households selected from all 58 counties in California. CHIS is conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health and the Department of Health Care Services.
  • National Natality Survey/National Maternal and Infant Health Survey (NMIHS)
    The survey provides data on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of mothers, prenatal care, pregnancy history, occupational background, health status of mother and infant, and types and sources of medical care received.
  • Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)
    The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors six types of health-risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults, including tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, sexual risk behaviors, unhealthy dietary behaviors, physical inactivity, and measures the prevalence of obesity and asthma among youth and young adults. YRBSS includes a national school-based survey conducted by CDC and state, territorial, tribal, and local surveys conducted by state, territorial, and local education and health agencies and tribal governments.