National Health Examination Surveys, Cycles I-III Series

The National Health Examination Surveys, Cycles I-III (NHES I-III), conducted during the period 1959-1970, were designed to secure statistics on the health status of the population of the United States. Medical examinations, tests, and measurements on a scientifically selected random sample of the population comprise the sources of data for this program. NHES I was limited to civilian adults living outside of institutions. This cycle's purpose was to determine the prevalence of certain chronic diseases, the status of dental health, and the distributions of auditory and visual acuity and certain anthropometric measurements. Medical staff and other survey staff performed the standard examination, which lasted about two hours, in mobile clinics especially designed for this purpose. NHES II (1963-1965), contains demographic data on children 6 to 11 years of age, as well as information on children's medical and developmental history, schooling, psychological testing results, physical examinations, hearing, vision, and dental examinations, body measurements, and assessments of skeletal maturation. NHES III (1966-1970), collected extensive data on youths, age 12 to 17. The information covers personal and demographic characteristics, medical and dental history, and health habits and behavior. Data were collected from parents, schools, birth certificates, psychological exams, physician's exams, and dental exams. Test results from vision, ear, nose, throat, hearing, blood pressure, bone age, body measurement, and certain x-ray and laboratory tests are included. This series of studies was succeeded in 1971 by the NATIONAL HEALTH AND NUTRITION EXAMINATION SURVEYS (NHANES) and its followup series.