Butler County Chosen for CDC Study

April 13, 2004 -- Posted at 5:12 p.m. CDT


The Centers for Disease Control rolled into one Region 8 town and is gearing up for a major study. And it makes us wonder, just how healthy is your average American? Butler county, which is just one of 15 counties selected nationwide to help answer that question.

Butler county has been randomly selected to participate in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey.... a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control.

"It's a very unique study and it will be helpful nationwide, not just here in Butler County but for the whole nation," said Michelle Jackson a Health Education for the Butler County Health Department.

Pat Francis, a native of Minnesota, is in Poplar Bluff working as a study manager for the CDC.

"The purpose of the study is to gather health related information and data...it's a congressionally mandated survey so that lawmakers can develop programs to improve and maintain our current quality of health," said Francis.

Butler County is just one of 15 randomly selected counties across the United States for the survey....and to become a participant isn't easy.

"Counties are randomly selected and within those counties, blocks of geographic areas that are smaller than those counties are randomly selected...and within those areas, several houses or a few houses are selected," said Francis.

And from those houses, participants fill out a questionnaire, which is put into a data pool. From that pool of more than 1500 people, 435 folks will be asked to visit the CDC's mobile exam center in Whiteley Park in Poplar Bluff.

There they will receive a physical exam, dietary interview, body measurement and dental exam....and for their troubles, travel reimbursement and $100 dollars per person.

Folks who are selected to participate in the CDC's study are guaranteed confidentiality, and that's just one reason this survey is so successful. In the past, the CDC's surveys have made a big impact in the medical community...

"They have resulted in the elimination of lead in paint and gasoline came from a study that was conducted in the 70's. The identification of Osteoporosis as a true threat of the quality of life came from people who have participated in this study. The pediatric grow charts that help to assure us that our children are growing and developing correctly come from all the little kids that participated in this," said Francis.

Examinations will begin April 30 and run through the end of May.