Contact | Careers | University of Hawaii | John A. Burns School of Medicine

BQHS Banner
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey

BRFSS is a cross-sectional health-related telephone (landline and cellular) survey that collects 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, District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories, and has become a powerful tool for targeting and building health promotion activities. Not all states contributed before the year 2000.

BRFSS questionnaire has three parts: 1) the core component, consisting of fixed core, rotating core and emerging core, 2) optional modules, and 3) state-added questions. The fixed core is a standard set of questions asked by all states that includes questions on demographics and current health behaviors. The rotating core is made up of two distinct sets of questions, each asked in alternating years by all states, addressing different topics. The emerging core is a set of up to five questions that are added to the fixed and rotating cores and typically focuses on “late breaking” issues.

Hawaii has participated with the survey since 1986. BRFSS provides a means to monitor long-term health trends. Trends for Hawaii as an island state - 3000 miles in the Pacific, and with a unique multiethnic population, may differ substantially from national patterns. Hawaii BRFSS provides empirical data about physical activity, nutrition, and smoking risk behaviors and provides prevalence data in tracking trends and patterns, planning, and preparing grant applications. BRFSS will offer research opportunities for Hawaii investigators to explore health-related risk behaviors, chronic conditions, and use of preventive services. Hawaii specific BRFSS data can be requested through State of Department of Health.

Years Available

Note for Data Users
  • The sample weights are not computed automatically in the database and may be calculated differently for specific research questions. Please consult BQHS for further information on how to derive sample weights.
  • The variable names may change over time, and recoded or derived variables may be added in different data cycles. Please check the variable lists for details.
  • Data for years 1984 to 1999 are available on the BRFSS website.
JABSOM Manoa


651 Ilalo Street, Biosciences Building, Suite 211, Honolulu, HI 96813


Phone: 808.692.1840 // Fax: 808.692.1966 // Email: qhs@hawaii.edu