Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), 2005 (ICPSR 24383)

Published: Apr 13, 2009 View help for published

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


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The Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) collects nationally representative data about the American public's access to and use of cancer-related information. The 2005 HINTS survey is the second in an ongoing biannual series and provided information on the changing patterns, needs, and behavior in seeking and supplying cancer information, and explored how cancer risks are perceived. A series of questions addressed colon, lung, cervical, and breast cancer, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and respondents' familiarity with cancer screening procedures such as mammogram, colonoscopy, and the PSA test. Specific questions were also posed about the relationship between cancer, diet, and exercise. Information was also gathered on physical and mental health status, participation in community organizations, 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, frequency of religious attendance, number of people in the household, ownership of residence, type of residential area (e.g., urban or rural), and whether respondents were born in the United States.

Hesse, Bradford, and Moser, Richard. Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), 2005 . Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-04-13.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2005-02 -- 2005-08

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.

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.

The formats of the variables FRUITS, FRUITJUICE, VEGETABLES, and POTATOES, as well as many of the variables corresponding to open-ended responses, weights and replicate weights, were adjusted to fit the width of the values present in these variables.

To protect respondent confidentiality, an open-ended response containing information on a respondent's occupation in variable DB11WHYCHOSET_OS was blanked.

ICPSR created a unique sequential record identifier variable named CASEID.

The sample design is a list-assisted RDD sample from all telephone exchanges in the United States, resulting in a nationally representative sample of households. During the household screener, 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.

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

survey data

The overall response rate was 20.83 percent. Please refer to the codebook documentation for more information on response rates.

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



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Hesse, Bradford, and Richard Moser. Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), 2005 . ICPSR24383-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-04-13.

2009-04-13 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.

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.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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