Virgin Islands Department of Health Commissioner Designee, Michelle S. Davis would like to inform the people of the territory that the department has begun a survey to better understand the magnitude of chronic disease issues here in the Virgin Islands. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the nation's premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services. Established in 1984 with 15 states, BRFSS now collects data in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and six U.S. territories, including the U.S. Virgin Islands. BRFSS completes more than 400,000 adult interviews each year, making it the largest continuously conducted health survey system in the world.
“We are working with the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this survey gathers information about the health related lifestyle choices of Virgin Islands adults. With this knowledge, we can better plan and evaluate health promotion programs to prevent chronic disease and premature death. Each year, results are analyzed to improve our understanding of health habits and measure progress towards health objectives at the national, state, and territorial level,” stated Dr. Davis.
“The lifestyle choices we make on a daily basis play a vital role in shaping our health status and lifespan. While heredity and environment play a part, the leading causes of death in the US Virgin Islands (heart disease and cancer) are closely related to behaviors and lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and tobacco and alcohol use, as well as preventive health practices. Changes in lifestyle can prevent some chronic diseases, as well as premature deaths. Please participate in these call and answer the few short questions that are asked. This is just one step that we are taking to build a healthier Virgin Islands for everyone” concluded the Commissioner Designee.