Information on BRFSS Data
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a state-based computer-assisted telephone interviewing effort conducted in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Questions are constructed to determine the behaviors of individuals that will affect their risk of developing chronic diseases that may lead to premature mortality and morbidity. The data helps to identify high risk populations that can be targeted for intervention programs, and in turn assess the impact of any health promotion and prevention intervention programs.
The BRFSS Subjective Cognitive Decline module measures subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and its associated effects on function and daily living. SCD is the self-reported experience of more frequent or worsening confusion or memory loss.
The BRFSS Caregiver module is designed to provide information about persons who self-identify as caregivers and provide some form of care to another person with a health problem or disability. https://www.cdc.gov/aging/healthybrain/brfss-faq.htm
The webinar titled, “Data for Older Adults’ Health Webinar: BRFSS Cognitive and Caregiving Modules”, provides an overview of the BRFSS focusing on both the Cognitive Decline and Caregiver modules.
Both the Cognitive Decline and caregiver modules are optional modules that states can choose to include on the survey each year. Fact sheets from each year the modules were included are listed below.
|Combined National Data|
|African American Adults|
|American Indian/Alaska Native Adults|
|Asian/Pacific Islander Adults|
|Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Adults||2015-2018 SCD Combined (English)||2015-2018 Caregiving Combined (English)|
|Veterans||2015-2018 SCD Combined (English)||2015-2018 Caregiving Combined (English)|
|Rural Adults||2015-2018 SCD Combined (English)||2015-2018 Caregiving Combined (English)|
To assist local communities with targeting efforts to reduce Alzheimer’s disease and co-morbidities in their local communities, TDH developed county profiles to help guide local efforts in addressing risk factors associated with dementia and other comorbidities, and to target at risk populations. The measures highlight Alzheimer’s prevalence in each county and the prevalence of related co-morbidities including COPD, diabetes, hypertension, and substance abuse utilizing Medicare fee-for-service data, and highlights traumatic brain injury emergency department visits utilizing hospital discharge data. Along with each chronic disease, each county profile page includes population statistics highlighting social determinates of health.Click here to open the county profiles and learn more about Alzheimer’s disease in each county and ways communities can utilize the profiles to inspire action and implement initiatives to improve brain health.
Facts and Figures
The Alzheimer's Association publishes Alzheimer's disease facts and figures to provide an overview of the various types of dementia, burden of Alzheimer's diease in the nation, and provides an overview of the disease in each respective state.
The State of Aging and Health in America: Data Brief Series were developed to provide public health officials the most recent data related to health and aging related issues including brain health, management of chronic conditions, and caregiving burden to assist public health officials and other stakeholder groups in understanding disparities, implementing targeted programs, and forming public policies.
The data briefs can be found on the CDC website by clicking here.
There are multiple data sources that are publically accessible through TDH, CDC, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) services. The data sets that are frequentlyutilized to quantify the burden of Alzheimer’s and other related dementias on individuals with the disease, caregivers, and communities commonly include:
- Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) Subjective Cognitive Decline and Caregiver modules
- CMS fee-for-service data
- Death data
- Hospital discharge data
If the data you are wanting to access is not readily available publically or if you are interested in having a more in depth analysis done based on region, county, or a specific demographic group, you can contact the data steward, typically listed on the website. Please be aware that some data may have restrictions if the population size is too small for the specific information being requested. If you are unsure what data you are interested in obtaining or have any general data questions, you can email the Office of Patient Care Advocacy at PatientAdvocacy.Health@tn.gov. To submit a formal data request to the Tennessee Department of Health-Office of Informatics and Analytics, click here.
No data set is all inclusive or can fully describe the burden of Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementias on individuals or the community, but data can help communities target their efforts and help inform policy.
Most data is publically available through TDH, CDC, and CMS’ websites. Data request typically come from media outlets, academic institutions, students, policy makers, advocacy groups or nonprofits, and other state and local government entities. To submit a formal data request to the Tennessee Department of Health-Office of Informatics and Analytics, click here.