Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics
The basic purpose of the National 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 the 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 household, and geographic region. The variables in the Person File (Part 2) include sex, age, race, marital status, veteran status, education, income, industry and occupation codes, and limits on activity. 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 (Part 3), Doctor Visit (Part 4), and the Hospital Episode (Part 5) Files contain information on each reported condition, two-week doctor visit, or hospitalization (twelve-month recall), respectively. A sixth, seventh, and eighth file have been added along with the five core files. The Health Promotions and Disease Prevention Supplement is separated into three categories as follows: Child Safety/Infant Feeding (Part 6), Sample Person (Part 7), and Smoking (Part 8). These data files include questions on health and fitness awareness, general health habits, injury control, child safety and health, high blood pressure, stress, exercise, smoking, alcohol use, dental care, and occupational safety and health.
These data are freely available.
This study was originally provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.
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United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey, 1985. ICPSR08668-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-05-25. doi:10.3886/ICPSR08668.v2
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08668.v2
Scope of Study
Subject Terms: alcohol consumption, child health, chronic disabilities, chronic illnesses, disabilities, doctor visits, exercise, family size, health, health behavior, health care, health care services, health policy, health problems, hospitalization, household composition, households, illness, injuries, occupational safety and health, physical fitness, smoking, stress
Geographic Coverage: United States
Date of Collection:
Universe: Civilian, non-institutionalized population of the United States and the District of Columbia from 1,900 geographically defined Primary Sampling Units (PSU).
Data Types: clinical data, survey data
Data Collection Notes:
The data contain amp (&), dash (-), and blank codes. In conjunction with the changes made to the core of NHIS in 1982, all 5 types of files have revised tape layouts. In general, identification items are at the beginning of each record followed by household and person information in the same location on each tape. Limitation of activity, acute conditions, disability days, and doctor visits should not be compared to data gathered before 1982. For the Health Promotions and Disease Prevention Supplement, one person was selected from each family interviewed and this sample person was a self-respondent to the supplement's questions.
Sample: Starting in 1985, the NHIS multi-stage probability sampling design incorporates several major changes which facilitate linkages with other National Center for Health Statistics surveys, improve precision of estimates, and reduce costs. Starting with an all-area frame, a reduced number of 198 Primary Sampling Units (PSU) were selected, including two from each non-self representing stratum. Black persons were oversampled. Four independent representative samples were drawn which may be used in any combination.
Weight: Detailed information regarding the use of weights is located within the documentation.
Mode of Data Collection: face-to-face interview
Extent of Processing: ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
- Created online analysis version with question text.
Original ICPSR Release: 1987-10-12
- 2011-05-25 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files have been added. Some corresponding documentation has been updated and pre-existing data files have been replaced. The Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Supplement has been broken into three separate data files.
- 2006-01-18 File CB8668.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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