National Health Interview Survey, 2013 (ICPSR 36147)

Version Date: Sep 2, 2015 View help for published

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics


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The 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. The redesigned NHIS questionnaire introduced in 1997 (see NATIONAL HEALTH INTERVIEW SURVEY, 1997 [ICPSR 2954]) consists of a Core that remains largely unchanged from year to year, plus an assortment of Supplements sponsored by other agencies than NCHS, with the assortment varying from year to year. The 2013 NHIS Core components contain Household, Family, Person, Sample Adult, and Sample Child files. Each record in Part 1, Household Level, contains data on type of living quarters, number of families in the household responding and not responding, and the month and year of the interview for each sampling unit. Part 2, Family Level, is made up of reconstructed variables from the person-level data of the basic module and includes information on sex, age, race, marital status, Hispanic origin, education, veteran status, family income, family size, major activities, health status, activity limits, and employment status, along with industry and occupation. As part of the basic module, Part 3, Person Level, provides information on all family members with respect to health status, limitation of daily activities, cognitive impairment, and health conditions. Also included are variables related to doctor visits, hospital stays, and health care access and utilization. A randomly-selected adult in each family was interviewed for Part 4, Sample Adult Level, regarding respiratory conditions, renal conditions, AIDS, joint symptoms, health status, limitation of daily activities, and behaviors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity. Part 5, Sample Child Level, provides information from an adult in the household on medical conditions of one child in the household, such as respiratory problems, seizures, allergies, and use of special equipment like hearing aids, braces, or wheelchairs. Part 6, Injury/Poison Episode, is an episode-based file that contains information about the external cause and nature of the injury or poisoning episode and what the person was doing at the time of the injury or poisoning episode, in addition to the date and place of occurrence. Part 7, Family Disability Level, seeks to identify the subpopulation that is at a greater risk than the general population of experiencing restrictions in social participation, for example, restrictions in employment, education, or civic life. Part 8, Adult Functioning and Disability Level, contains information about a respondent's functioning in various basic and complex activity domains: vision, hearing, mobility, communication, cognition, upper body, affect, pain, and fatigue. Part 9, Paradata Level, does not contain health related information, but rather data which are related to the interview process, including measures of time, contact-ability, and cooperation.

United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey, 2013. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-09-02.

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Region (and pseudo-PSU)

In preparing the data files for this collection, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) 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.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

  1. The User Guide contains information regarding the merging of files and the use of weight variables, along with information regarding changes to the 2013 NHIS.

  2. Please note that file names referenced in the user guide do not align with the names of files released by ICPSR.

  3. For more information about the National Health Interview Survey, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site.

The main objective of the NHIS is to monitor the health of the United States population through the collection and analysis of data on a broad range of health topics.

The sample design follows a multistage area probability design that permits the representative sampling of households and noninstitutional group quarters (e.g., college dormitories). In order to increase the precision of estimates of the Black, Hispanic, and Asian populations, the current NHIS sample design oversamples Black persons, Hispanic persons, and Asian persons. In addition, the sample adult selection process provides that when Black, Hispanic, or Asian persons aged 65 years or older are present, they have an increased chance of being selected as the sample adult. For more information on sampling, please refer to the "NHIS Survey Description" section of the User Guide document.


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

Individual, Household, Family

The total household response rate was 75.7 percent. The final response rate for the family component was 74.9 percent. The final response rate for the sample child component was 69.0 percent. The final response rate for the sample adult component was 61.2 percent.



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:
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey, 2013. ICPSR36147-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-09-02.

2015-09-02 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 variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data are not weighted. These data contain multiple weight variables for each part which must be used in any analysis. Users should refer to the User Guide for further information regarding the weights, their use, and their derivation.



  • 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).