Impact Of Risk Factors On Public Health

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The Allegheny County Health Department, in partnership with several community organizations, is sponsoring a survey to assess behavioral and environmental risk factors affecting the health of County residents.

“The survey is similar to one conducted in 2002 and will provide invaluable information about how our residents’ risk factors and health status have changed over the past seven years,” said County Health Director Dr. Bruce W. Dixon.

“Personal behavior and the environment affect our health, for better or worse, and this survey will tell us if we are progressing as a community toward meeting our nation’s health goals for 2010.”

Health organizations throughout the County can use data from the survey to develop, implement and evaluate health programs, services and policies.

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In addition to much of the same information collected in 2002, the current survey includes new questions related to neighborhoods, social support, childhood experiences, infant sleep practices, veteran’s health, and end-of-life issues.

Other survey topics deal with nutrition, physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, health care access, chronic diseases, disabilities, women’s health, family planning, sexual behavior, immunizations and mental health.

The survey starts August 3 and will be conducted by telephone, with 5,000 residents age 18 or older randomly selected to participate. Calls will be made from 1 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Individual interviews last about 30 minutes and if any are unable to be completed during the initial telephone call, arrangements can be made to finish them at a later date.

The survey is completely voluntary and anonymous. Participants are not asked for their names, addresses, social security numbers or any other identifying information.

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