Vermont tracks risk behaviors using a telephone survey of adults called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS). Since 1990, Vermont, along with the 49 other states, Washington D.C. and U.S. territories, has participated in the BRFSS with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Several thousand Vermonters are randomly and anonymously selected and called annually. An adult (18 or older) in the household is asked a uniform set of questions. The results are weighted to represent the adult population of the state. The results are used to plan, support, and evaluate health promotion and disease prevention programs.
Due to BRFSS weighting methodology changes beginning in 2011, comparisons between data collected in 2011 and later and that from 2010 and earlier should be made with caution. Differences between data from 2011 forward and earlier years may be due to methodological changes, rather than changes in opinion or behavior.
This indicator is age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population. In U.S. data, age adjustment is used for comparison of regions with varying age breakdowns. In order to remain consistent with the methods of comparison at a national level, some statistics in Vermont were age adjusted. For more detailed information on age adjustment, visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/statnt/statnt20.pdf.
The CDC provides the Vermont Department of Health with funding each year to carry out the survey. Currently, ICF Macro with an office in Burlington, Vermont, is the interviewing contractor for the Vermont BRFSS.
Beginning in 2009, Vermont started interviewing adult residents on cellular telephones as well as landline telephones. This change ensures the survey is conducted among a representative sample of Vermont adults and was made due to changing telephone patterns with more households using primarily cellular telephones.