National Health Interview Survey, 1990 (ICPSR 9839)

Published: Jan 12, 2006

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


Version V1

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.

United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey, 1990. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-01-12.

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In preparing the data tape(s) 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.



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.

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.

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

personal interviews

survey data



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

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


  • 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.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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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).