Update Notices

Update Notices


A revised 2020 NHIS Sample Adult Interview public-use data file is now available.

Released in September 2022, this file no longer includes:

  • Variable SUNBEDTC_A, from the Preventive Screening (PRV) section
  • Quarter 1 (January–March) data for variables PAIWKLM3M_A and PAIAFFM3M_A, from the Chronic Pain (PAI) section

Data users with the original 2020 NHIS Sample Adult Interview public-use data file are asked to use the revised Sample Adult Interview data, or to not use the deleted information, variable SUNBEDTC_A and the Quarter 1 data from variables PAIWKLM3M_A and PAIAFFM3M_A.

The number of “2 times” responses was unexpectedly high for the 2020 NHIS Sample Adult Interview variable SUNBEDTC_A (“Frequency of indoor tanning device use in the past 12 months”). Due to keying errors, “2 times” responses may include responses for “no use” within the same response category. Based on recommendations from the question’s sponsors (the National Cancer Institute and CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), this variable has been removed from the 2020 NHIS Sample Adult Interview file. This decision is supported by these findings:

  1. This single question to assess the frequency of indoor tanning devices in 2020 yielded a different pattern of responses than the pattern observed in the 2015 NHIS’ three-part question.
  2. The observed high frequency of “2 times” responses for indoor tanning device use occurred among respondents who also reported that they do not go in the sun.
  3. External source support that indoor tanning use has declined among U.S. adults.

These concerns surpassed the amount of reasonable differences expected from changes to the fielding of this topic and the timing of data collection.

Two pain questions (PAIWKLM3M_A and PAIAFFM3M_A) that asked Sample Adults about how often pain limited their life or work activities and impacted their family and significant others were inadvertently fielded during Quarter 1 of the 2020 survey. These variables have been removed from the public-use file and will not be available in the Research Data Center’s restricted-use file. However, these items were approved by the Office of Management and Budget for inclusion in Quarters 3 and 4 (July–December 2020), along with several other items related to COVID-19. Data for these questions collected during Quarters 3 and 4 remain available for public use.

Page last reviewed: August 30, 2022