The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) which is also the data source for this data set, is a continuous, state-based surveillance system that collects information about modifiable risk factors for chronic diseases and other leading causes of death.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzes BRFSS data for metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas (MMSAs), to provide localized health information that can help public health practitioners identify local emerging health problems, plan and evaluate local responses, and efficiently allocate resources to specific needs. MMSAs are selected on the basis of having had 500 or more respondents to the BRFSS.
Metropolitan statistical areas are a group of counties that contain at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more inhabitants (e.g., Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA). Micropolitan statistical areas are a group of counties that contain at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 inhabitants (e.g., Willimantic, CT). Metropolitan divisions are a smaller group of counties within a metropolitan statistical area of 2.5 million or more inhabitants (e.g., Boston-Quincy, MA within Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH Metropolitan Statistical Area). The Selected Metropolitan/Micropolitan Area Risk Trends (SMART) uses BRFSS data to provide prevalence rates for selected conditions and behaviors for cities and their surrounding counties.
The risk factor categories available are alcohol consumption, asthma, cholesterol awareness, colorectal cancer screening, diabetes, disability, exercise and physical activity, health status, health care access, hypertension awareness, immunization, nutrition, oral health, tobacco use, weight classifications, and women’s health. The categories available will vary from year to year based on questionnaire changes. The findings of the study are depicted in percentages while the data value type is crude prevalence. The prevalence estimates not available if the unweighted sample size for the denominator was less than 50 or the CI half width was greater than 10 for any cell, or if the state did not collect data for that calendar year.