May 16, 1990

How Do They Conduct 'N-HANES,' Anyway?

JAMA. 1990;263(19):2581. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440190037013

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WORKING in a space barely large enough to hold a couch, ultrasonographic equipment, and a videorecorder, technician Cynthia Runco, diagnostic sonographer, is visualizing another gallbladder, one of 10 she is doing this morning.

Runco is working on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (usually pronounced "N-HANES"), one of the major projects of the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

This is the third such survey of the nation's health. The first was during the years 1971 through 1975 and the second, from 1976 through 1980.

The present survey began in 1988. It is scheduled to continue until 1994 and is expected to cost more than $100 million.

Runco and her associates, including a physician and a dentist, do health measurements, interviews, and laboratory tests out of a set of four mobile trailers. When their task is finished, the staff will have examined approximately 30 000 people in 88 communities.