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June 1, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(5):564-565. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980050054017

The National Health Survey program has progressed to the point that field work on household interviewing began, nationwide, on May 6. The survey represents the first effort in 20 years to obtain comprehensive statistics on illness in the general population.

The Public Health Service is undertaking the survey on a continuing basis pursuant to legislation enacted in the last session of the Congress. There has, of course, been increasing recognition for some time of the fact that, for the general population, information on health conditions is seriously out of date. An important step toward remedying this situation was the establishment in January, 1949, of the U. S. National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics. Two successive ad hoc subcommittees were set up by the chairman of the national committee "to frame the problems in morbidity statistics, including chronic diseases and medical care statistics, in order that morbidity data may be