Summary health statistics for U.S. adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2009

Vital Health Stat 10. 2010 Dec;(249):1-207.


Objectives: This report presents health statistics from the 2009 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for the civilian noninstitutionalized adult population, classified by sex, age, race and ethnicity, education, family income, poverty status, health insurance coverage, marital status, and place and region of residence. Estimates are presented for selected chronic conditions and mental health characteristics, functional limitations, health status, health behaviors, health care access and utilization, and human immunodeficiency virus testing. Percentages and percent distributions are presented in both age-adjusted and unadjusted versions.

Data source: NHIS is a household, multistage probability sample survey conducted annually by interviewers of the U.S. Census Bureau for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. In 2009, data were collected on 27,731 adults in the Sample Adult questionnaire. The conditional response rate was 80.1%, and the final response rate was 65.4%. The health information for adults in this report was obtained from one randomly selected adult per family. In very rare instances where the sample adult was not able to respond for himself or herself, a proxy was used.

Highlights: In 2009, 61% of adults aged 18 years and over reported excellent or very good health. Fifty-five percent of adults had never participated in any type of vigorous leisure-time physical activity, and 17% of adults did not have a usual place of health care. Twelve percent of adults had been told by a doctor or health professional that they had heart disease, and 24% had been told on two or more visits that they had hypertension. Twenty-one percent of all adults were current smokers, and 21% were former smokers. Based on estimates of body mass index, 35% of adults were overweight, and 27% were obese.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Behavior* / ethnology
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vital Statistics*
  • Young Adult