Assemblyman Ortiz addresses new Brooklyn health study

September 5, 2014 Heather Chin
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Brooklyn is looked to by people around the world for the latest trends and news. Now, some Brooklynites will be able to help guide national efforts to assess and, hopefully, improve the health of Americans.

An annual health survey – the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) – will measure health indicators for diabetes, obesity, infectious disease and reproductive health in roughly 10,000 people in 15 counties across the country.

This year, Kings County has been selected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as one of those counties.

Study participants will focus on African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans.

Participants will be randomly selected and, once they have agreed to participate, undergo physical examinations, personal home interviews, diagnostic procedures and lab tests at mobile examination centers.

“The survey helps us understand how personal characteristics, including attitudes, beliefs, health and cultural backgrounds, influence health outcomes,” said Senior Study Manager Nora Martinello.

Martinello, along with her colleagues Janis Eklund and Dr. Kathryn Porter, of the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, spoke about the study with some residents at Assemblymember Felix Ortiz’s office in Sunset Park.

“NHANES has been an absolutely critical resource in the passing of legislation, such as [increasing] folic acid for foods for pregnant women and the reduction of childhood obesity,” said Ortiz.

NHANES has been conducted for over 50 years and study results are used for national and local efforts to monitor risk factors in these populations and often to help pass legislation on local, state and federal levels.

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