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).

National Health Interview Survey, 1990 (ICPSR 9839)

Principal Investigator(s):


The basic purpose of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 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. Household variables in this data collection include type of living quarters, size of family, number of families in household, and geographic region. Person variables include sex, age, race, marital status, veteran status, education, income, industry and occupation codes, and limits on activity. The Condition, Doctor Visit, and Hospital files contain information on each reported health condition, doctor visit within a two-week period, and hospitalization (12-month recall), respectively.

Series: National Health Interview Survey Series

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Household - Download All Files (37.9 MB)
DS2:  Person - Download All Files (61.2 MB)
DS3:  Condition - Download All Files (52.3 MB)
DS4:  Doctor Visit - Download All Files (30.2 MB)
DS5:  Hospital Record - Download All Files (26 MB)

Study Description


U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics. NATIONAL HEALTH INTERVIEW SURVEY, 1990. Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics [producer], 1990. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Scope of Study

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

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1990

Date of Collection:  

  • 1990

Universe:   Civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Per agreement with NCHS, ICPSR distributes the data file(s) and technical documentation in this collection in their original form as prepared by NCHS. Part II of the documentation, the Field Representative's Manual, is provided in hard copy only. The age distribution for the 1990 Person file is: 0-44 (N = 82,488), 45-54 (N = 12,266), 55-64 (N = 10,299), 65-74 (N = 8,769), and 75+ (N = 5,809). The racial/ethnic distributions for the Person file are: Black (N = 17,967), Hispanic origin (N = 10,925), Asian/Pacific Islander (N = 2,815), and Aleut, Eskimo, and American Indian (N = 959). The supplementary sections of the 1990 questionnaire released by the National Center for Health Statistics as individual files pertain to Assistive Devices, Hearing, Podiatry, Family Resources, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (Sample Person file, Pregnancy and Smoking file, and Injury Control and Child Safety and Health file), and AIDS Knowledge and Attitudes. These supplements will be made available by ICPSR under separate study numbers.


Sample:   The NHIS employs a multistage probability sampling design. Four independent representative samples, which may be used in any combination, were drawn. Black persons were oversampled.

Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 7 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 6 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.

Related Publications ?



Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics

Found a problem? Use our Report Problem form to let us know.