Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare national estimates from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
Methods: The authors compared data from the 2 surveys on smoking, height, weight, body mass index, diabetes, hypertension, immunization, lack of insurance coverage, cost as a barrier to medical care, and health status.
Results: Overall national estimates were similar for 13 of the 14 measures examined. Small differences according to demographic characteristics were found for height and body mass index, with larger differences for health status.
Conclusions: Although estimates differed within subgroups, the BRFSS provided national estimates comparable to those of the NHIS. BRFSS national data could provide rapidly available information to guide national policy and program decisions.