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    Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System


    ​The Maryland Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an ongoing telephone-based chronic disease surveillance program designed to collect data on the behaviors and conditions that place Maryland adults at risk for chronic diseases, injuries, and preventable infectious diseases. Maryland BRFSS also collects information on health care access and health disparities. The typical sample size is approximately 15,000 non-institutionalized Maryland residents age 18 and older per year.

    The Maryland Department of Health, local health departments, other public health programs, universities, and research organizations use Maryland BRFSS data to assess need, plan programs, evaluate programs, inform policy, and apply for funding. Knowing the type and frequency of health issues and behavioral risk factors enables public health professionals to devise and implement programs geared toward the prevention of chronic diseases, injury, and disability, and to reduce health disparities.​

    Every summer, the Maryland Department of Health solicits requests ​for modules to be included in the next year's questionnaire. Organizations are able to request questions that are of interest for their programmatic needs. For more information on the module request process, please email the BRFSS and Data Manager at mdh.brfss@maryland.gov​. Note: The request for modules for the 2024 questionnaire will be released in August of 2023.​

    The Maryland BRFSS is conducted under guidance from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC). For more information regarding the national BRFSS survey and its use in all 50 states and several territories, please visit www.cdc.gov/brfss/.

    Maryland BRFSS data from 2011 through 2020 can be found on the Maryland IBIS website [under revision as of March 8, 2023​]. Data can be analyzed by year, jurisdiction, and a number of demographic variables and other indicators. For all data requests not available through IBIS, please contact the BRFSS and Data Manager at mdh.brfss@maryland.gov

    Please consider participating in the BRFSS survey if you are called. The Maryland BRFSS program depends upon participation of Maryland residents of every age, sex, race, and ethnicity throughout the state in order to properly assess the health of Maryland residents. The survey is completely anonymous, and no identifying information will be recorded or shared.​​

    If you have been contacted to participate in this survey and have questions or would like additional information, please contact the Maryland BRFSS program​ at 443-388-6740 or mdh.brfss@maryland.gov.​ ​