Health Survey Aims to Take Pulse of NYC

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Between now and the end of the year, the city is conducting one of the nation's most extensive surveys of urban health.

The NYC Health and Nutrition Examination Survey is modeled after one conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and unlike other surveys, NYC HANES relies on physical exams, as well as blood, urine and saliva tests.

The Health Department first did the survey in 2004, and got 2,000 respondents. This time, officials are hoping to get 3,000 people from across the city, and they say they're working hard to get a group that's representative of the larger population.

Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley says the earlier round found New Yorkers had greater exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke than other Americans and suffered high rates of heart disease -- findings that led to several city initiatives, including the ban on transfats and the smoking ban in city parks.

The latest round is being done in collaboration with the School of Public Health at the City University of New York and funded by the de Beaumont Foundation.