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Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), 2003 (ICPSR 24382)

Principal Investigator(s): Hesse, Bradford, National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute; Moser, Richard, National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute


The Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) collects nationally representative data about the American public's access to and use of cancer-related information. This data collection consists of the 2003 survey which focused on the changing patterns, needs, and behavior in seeking and supplying cancer information, and explored how cancer risks are perceived. A series of questions specifically addressed colon and breast cancer and respondents' familiarity with cancer screening procedures such as mammogram, colonoscopy, and the PSA test. Information was also gathered on physical and mental health status, smoking history, how often respondents ate fruits and vegetables, and whether they had health insurance. Demographic variables include sex, age, race, education level, employment status, marital status, household income, type of residential area (e.g., urban or rural), and whether respondents had children under the age of 18.

Series: Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) Series

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


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Study Description


Hesse, Bradford, and Richard Moser. Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), 2003. ICPSR24382-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-03-27. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR24382.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR24382.v1

Export Citation:

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

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    breast cancer, cancer, colon cancer, communication, communications systems, disease prevention, health, health attitudes, health behavior, information dissemination, information sources, Internet, mammography, mass media, public health, smoking, tobacco use

Smallest Geographic Unit:    Census tract

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2003

Date of Collection:   

  • 2003

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    The civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States aged 18 years and older.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The data available for download are not weighted and users will need to weight the data prior to analysis.

Analyses of large HINTS domains usually produce reliable estimates, but analyses of small domains may yield unreliable estimates, as indicated by their large variances. Users should pay particular attention to the standard error and coefficient of variation (relative standard error) for estimates of means, proportions, and totals. Small sample sizes for particular analyses will tend to result in unstable estimates. Additional information about sampling, interviewing, sampling error, weighting, and the universe of each question may be found in the codebook documentation.

Variable names containing more than 16 characters were truncated in order to be compatible with current statistical programs. Therefore, variable names may differ slightly from those in the original documentation.

Each iteration of HINTS consists of a cross-sectional independent sample; however, there are several questions that are common across each iteration and thus the data could be combined by variable to test for changes over time or to obtain a larger sample size.

To protect respondent confidentiality, open-ended responses containing information on respondent's occupation in variables HC26GANYTHING_OS, HC11WHOSEEKCA_OS, and CK10CHANGEBE_1OS were blanked.

The formats of the variables FRUITS, FRUITJUICE, VEGETABLES, and POTATOES, as well as the weight and replicate weight variables, were adjusted to fit the width of the values present in these variables.

The CASEID variable was created for use with online analysis.


Sample:    The sample design is a list-assisted RDD sample from all telephone exchanges in the United States, with oversampling of Blacks and Hispanics. This oversampling resulted in a nationally representative sample of households. During the household screening, one adult was sampled within each household and recruited for the extended interview. Please refer to the codebook documentation for more information on sample design.

Weight:    Every sampled adult who completed a questionnaire received a sampling weight and a set of replicate sampling weights. These sampling weights should be used in aggregating any survey questionnaire answers for the purpose of computing nationally representative estimates. Please refer to the codebook documentation for more information on weights used in the data.

Mode of Data Collection:    computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)

Response Rates:    The overall response rate was 33.05 percent. Please refer to the codebook documentation for more information on response rates.

Presence of Common Scales:    Six-item version of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) Fact Sheet.

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:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2009-03-27



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