Health Interview Survey, 1968 (ICPSR 28881)

Published: Sep 30, 2010

Principal Investigator(s):
United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics


Version V2

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. This 1968 study was a transition for the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) to calendar year. The 1968 files include both fiscal year files and calendar year files, with some overlap between corresponding fiscal year and calendar year files. During the fiscal year, the NHIS sample was split and two types of questionnaires were administered to approximately half of the overall sample: the "condition approach" questionnaire and the "person approach" questionnaire. During the second half of calendar year 1968, the entire NHIS sample was interviewed using the person approach questionnaire. During this time period, five NHIS files are referred to as "core" files because they were administered each year (through 1996). The five core files are Household, Person, Condition, Doctor Visit, and Hospital. No evidence of a fiscal year Household file was found, and the existing calendar year Household file had too many anomalies to be included in this release. Thus, this release consists of fiscal year and calendar year versions of four out of the five core files, and three supplement files, for a total of eleven files. The eleven types of records in this year's survey are each in a separate data file. The Person Calendar and Fiscal Year files (Part 1 and Part 6) include 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. The Person files also supply data on height, weight, bed days, doctor visits, hospital stays, years at residence, and region variables. The Condition Calendar and Fiscal Year files (Part 2 and Part 7) contain information for each reported health condition, with specifics on injury and accident reports. The Hospital Calendar and Fiscal Year files (Part 3 and Part 8) provide 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 Calendar and Fiscal Year files (Part 4 and Part 8) document doctor visits within the time period and identify acute or chronic conditions. The Motor Vehicle Person Accident Calendar and Fiscal Year files (Part 5 and Part 10) contain information regarding types of motor accidents, how many vehicles were involved in a given accident, injuries acquired from a given accident, time of day the accident occurred, and treatments given as a result of a given accident. The Home Care Fiscal Year file (Part 11) documents basic demographic information, eating habits, in-home mobility, hospital visits, and the extent to which basic living activities and needs are performed with or without aid.

United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Health Interview Survey, 1968. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-09-30.

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In preparing the data files for this collection, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has removed direct identifiers and characteristics that might lead to identification of data subjects. As an additional precaution NCHS requires, under Section 308(d) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 242m), that data collected by NCHS not be used for any purpose other than statistical analysis and reporting. NCHS further requires that analysts not use the data to learn the identity of any persons or establishments and that the director of NCHS be notified if any identities are inadvertently discovered. ICPSR member institutions and other users ordering data from ICPSR are expected to adhere to these restrictions.


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.

A multistage probability sample was used in selecting housing units.

Civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States.

personal interviews

clinical data

survey data



2010-09-30 The type of data used within the survey year has been corrected within the metadata report and updated.

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.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

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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).