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National Health Interview Survey, 1985

Resource Type
Dataset : clinical data, survey data
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • National Health Interview Survey Series
Publication Date
Free Keywords
alcohol consumption; child health; chronic disabilities; chronic illnesses; disabilities; doctor visits; exercise; family size; health; health behavior; health care; health care services; health policy; health problems; hospitalization; household composition; households; illness; injuries; occupational safety and health; physical fitness; smoking; stress
  • Abstract

    The basic purpose of the National 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. There are five types of records in the core survey, each in a separate data file. The variables in the Household File (Part 1) include type of living quarters, size of family, number of families in household, and geographic region. The variables in the Person File (Part 2) include sex, age, race, marital status, veteran status, education, income, industry and occupation codes, and limits on activity. These variables are found in the Condition, Doctor Visit, and Hospital Episode Files as well. The Person File also supplies data on height, weight, bed days, doctor visits, hospital stays, years at residence, and region variables. The Condition (Part 3), Doctor Visit (Part 4), and the Hospital Episode (Part 5) Files contain information on each reported condition, two-week doctor visit, or hospitalization (twelve-month recall), respectively. A sixth, seventh, and eighth file have been added along with the five core files. The Health Promotions and Disease Prevention Supplement is separated into three categories as follows: Child Safety/Infant Feeding (Part 6), Sample Person (Part 7), and Smoking (Part 8). These data files include questions on health and fitness awareness, general health habits, injury control, child safety and health, high blood pressure, stress, exercise, smoking, alcohol use, dental care, and occupational safety and health.
  • Methods

    Detailed information regarding the use of weights is located within the documentation.
  • Methods

    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 online analysis version with question text..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Household
    • DS2: Person
    • DS3: Condition
    • DS4: Doctor Visit
    • DS5: Hospital Episode
    • DS6: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Child Safety/Infant Feeding Supplement
    • DS7: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Sample Person Supplement
    • DS8: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Smoking Supplement
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1985
  • Collection date: 1985
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Civilian, non-institutionalized population of the United States and the District of Columbia from 1,900 geographically defined Primary Sampling Units (PSU).
Starting in 1985, the NHIS multi-stage probability sampling design incorporates several major changes which facilitate linkages with other National Center for Health Statistics surveys, improve precision of estimates, and reduce costs. Starting with an all-area frame, a reduced number of 198 Primary Sampling Units (PSU) were selected, including two from each non-self representing stratum. Black persons were oversampled. Four independent representative samples were drawn which may be used in any combination.
Collection Mode
  • face-to-face interview

    The data contain amp (&), dash (-), and blank codes. In conjunction with the changes made to the core of NHIS in 1982, all 5 types of files have revised tape layouts. In general, identification items are at the beginning of each record followed by household and person information in the same location on each tape. Limitation of activity, acute conditions, disability days, and doctor visits should not be compared to data gathered before 1982. For the Health Promotions and Disease Prevention Supplement, one person was selected from each family interviewed and this sample person was a self-respondent to the supplement's questions.

2011-05-25 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files have been added. Some corresponding documentation has been updated and pre-existing data files have been replaced. The Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Supplement has been broken into three separate data files.2006-01-18 File CB8668.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 8668 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR08668.v1
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    • ID: 10.2105/AJPH.85.2.173 (DOI)
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  • Dufour, M.C.. Are there net health benefits from moderate alcohol consumption? Morbidity and other parameters of health. Contemporary Drug Problems.21, (1), 163-183.1994.
  • Dufour, Mary C., Williams, Gerald D., Campbell, Karen E., Aitken, Sherrie S.. Knowledge of FAS and the risks of heavy drinking during pregnancy, 1985 and 1990. Alcohol Health and Research World.18, (1), 86 -1994.
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Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 8 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics (1987): National Health Interview Survey, 1985. Archival Version. National Health Interview Survey Series. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.