Sunday, March 20, 2016

CDC National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

My communication with the CDC (one of many):  (I have since discovered that the CDC does NOT gather ANY allergy-related statistics through their in-home interviews.)

In my quest to expose the lack of accurate allergy statistics, I contacted the CDC. Apparently, one method they use to gather allergy statistics is through volunteers conducting in-home interviews. Has anyone reading this blog ever been interviewed by a volunteer from the CDC?  Did they request any allergy-related information?

My inquiry to the CDC (12/29/15):

Since there are NO allergy/anaphylactic reporting requirements into any government database by allergists and/or hospitals, from where does the CDC retrieve allergy statistical data? If you retrieve this information from FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), their information is woefully inaccurate. Without a national allergy database, the lives of many innocent people are placed in danger; i.e., if they are allergic to corn-derived dextrose IV fluid or iodized salt with corn-derived dextrose, and the ingredients are not labeled as such since corn has not been declared an official allergen, thereby not subject to FDA labeling requirements. How is Congress or the CDC expected to know the dramatic increase in corn/corn derivative allergies? As an aside, try finding corn-free infant formula for newborns who are allergic to corn (some of whom are anaphylactic to corn), and many of whom have been diagnosed with "failure to thrive" by their pediatricians. Their pediatricians cannot offer ANY safe formula or alternative nutritional source for these babies, because none exist! I would like Congress to mandate that all hospitals and allergists submit allergy/anaphylactic statistics (with the offending food/drug) into a national database ("National Allergy Registry"). Without this information, all of the current allergy statistics are worthless. Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.


Reply from the CDC:

Dear Ms.     :
The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The NHIS is a multi-stage federal survey that collects health and health-related information (morbidity data) volunteered by the U.S. public in (randomly selected) household interviews of civilian non-institutionalized persons using trained interviewers from the Census Bureau throughout the year, since 1957.
All NHIS questionnaires, available public-use data (datasets) and documentation, and reports are on-line via the NHIS web-page: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm with information about the NHIS; and for more detailed information on our procedures and how we collect data (sample design, weighting of sample data, etc.) please refer to our NHIS Methods page at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/methods.htm. Since 2013's tabulated data from our three annual Vital and Health Statistics Series 10 reports (on-line for 1997 - 2012), Summary Health Statistics for U.S.: Adults; Children; and Population has been changed to a web-tables on-line release beginning late 2015 via: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/SHS/tables.htm. {Here's the general NCHS Publications web-link as well: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products.htm.}
Since 1997, the Core (annual data collection) NHIS Sample Child (SC) (under 18 years) questionnaire asks about selected allergies (by kinds of allergy) among other questions about the child from a proxy adult respondent available; the Sample Adult (SA) questionnaire's Adult Health Status & Limitations (AHS) section has Question ID: AHS.200_00.000, Instrument Variable Name: AFLHCA asking about what condition or health problem causes you to have difficulty with {these activities} and at least one response is "Other impairment/problem (Specify one)" as allergy is not separately named in the selected condition list, and also SA's Adult Conditions (ACN) section contains some selected condition questions among other topics asked of adults (18 years or older), and also the annually (since 1997), by data year, via this link: http://www.cdc.gov/…/nh…/quest_data_related_1997_forward.htm; and all NHIS questionnaire's general link via: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/nhis_questionnaires.htm. You may also refer to the (annual) Survey Description Document (SDD) for details about a section or year's changes (including question changes) such as 2014's SDD through: http://www.cdc.gov/…/nh…/quest_data_related_1997_forward.htm, by data year.
There have been also periodic NHIS Supplements (non-annual data collections) on Child Health and also topic specific child supplements (asthma; immunization; child mental health, complementary and alternative health (including which modalities used, and most important reason for using modality among other questions), and etc.), and the Sample Adult's various supplemental topics (adult’s asthma; immunization; occupational health; occupational exposure (and effects); functioning and disability; balance; cancer; complementary and alternative medicine (including which modalities used, and most important reason for using modality among other questions), and etc.) over the years, which you can view by data year using the Co-sponsors and Supplement listing (topics) through this link: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/supplements_cosponsors.htm.
For allergy or related information, you may review the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID, NIH) content via their web-site for their information at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/Pages/default.aspx.
We hope this helps. We thank you for your inquiry.
Sincerely,
DHHS/PHS/CDC/OSELS/NCHS/DHIS Personnel
National Health Interview Survey (1957-2007+)
Celebrating the first 50 years and beyond


Corn Allergy Advocacy/Resources
@CornAllergy911

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