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Health Interview Survey, 1970 (ICPSR 7838)

Principal Investigator(s):


The purpose of the Health Interview Survey is to obtain information about the amount and distribution of illness, its effects in terms of disability and chronic impairments, and the kinds of health services people receive. There are five types of records in this core survey, each in a separate data file. The variables in the Household file (Part 1) include type of living quarters, size of family, number of families in the household, presence of a telephone, number of unrelated individuals, and region. The Person file (Part 2) includes information on sex, age, race, marital status, Hispanic origin, education, veteran status, family income, family size, major activities, health status, activity limits, employment status, and industry and occupation. These variables are found in the Condition, Doctor Visit, and Hospital Episode files as well. The Person file also supplies data on height, weight, bed days, doctor visits, hospital stays, years at residence, and region variables. The Condition file (Part 3) contains information for each reported health condition, with specifics on injury and accident reports. The Hospital Episode file (Part 4) provides information on medical conditions, hospital episodes, type of service, type of hospital ownership, date of admission and discharge, number of nights in hospital, and operations performed. The Doctor Visit file (Part 5) documents doctor visits within the time period and identifies acute or chronic conditions. The Health Insurance file (Part 6) includes information on education level, family income, hospital visits and length of stay, and also data on medical coverage, hospital coverage, medicare coverage, and doctor visit coverage. The Medical Care Cost file (Part 7) includes information on hospital bill expenses, doctor and dental bill expenses, optical bill expenses, and total personal and family expenses. The X-Ray file (Part 8) includes information on x-ray records, doctor visits, height, weight, and total medical x-ray visits.

Series: National Health Interview Survey Series

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

  • NACDA Logo

    This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).


WARNING: This study is over 150MB in size and may take several minutes to download on a typical internet connection.

DS1:  Household Level - Download All Files (72.3 MB)
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DS2:  Person Level - Download All Files (278.3 MB) large dataset
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DS3:  Condition Level - Download All Files (182.2 MB) large dataset
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DS4:  Hospital Episode Level - Download All Files (71.8 MB)
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DS5:  Doctor Visit Level - Download All Files (71 MB)
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DS6:  Health Insurance Level - Download All Files (143.5 MB)
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DS7:  Medical Care Cost Level - Download All Files (75.7 MB)
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DS8:  X-Ray Level - Download All Files (65.3 MB)
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Study Description


United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Health Interview Survey, 1970. ICPSR07838-v4. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-09-21.

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   chronic disabilities, chronic illnesses, disabilities, doctor visits, families, health, health care, health care services, health problems, hospitalization, household composition, illness

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1970

Universe:   Civilian noninstitutional population of the United States.

Data Types:   clinical data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

These data files contain weights, which must be used in any analysis.

Per agreement with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), ICPSR distributes the data files and text of the technical documentation for this collection as prepared by NCHS.


Sample:   A multistage probability sample was used in selecting housing units.

Weight:   These data contain multiple weight variables for each part. Users should refer to the User Guide for further information regarding the weights and their derivation. Additionally, users may need to weight the data prior to analysis.

Mode of Data Collection:   face-to-face interview

Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2010-09-21 Frequencies and variable labels that were previously incorrect have been corrected.
  • 2010-08-25 Updated bookmarks have been added to the Field Representative Manual and the Record Layout Documentation.
  • 2010-06-28 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files have been added. Some corresponding documentation has been updated and pre-existing data files have been replaced.
  • 2006-01-18 File CB7838.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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