Worker Health Information from the National Health Interview Survey

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Chart the 2004-2013 NHIS Core Data

Use our data visualization tool to assess the NHIS Core data, which examines:
Worker Health Charts (WHC)

  • chronic conditions
  • musculoskeletal health
  • health behaviors
  • health status and physical activity limitations
  • healthcare utilization/access
  • working conditions and employment benefits

 

Data Dictionary for the NHIS Core Questions Included in Worker Health Charts

The following describe variables collected in the 2004-2013 NHIS Core Survey that were used to analyze worker health. These variables are included in the Worker Health Chart (WHC) tool.

Subtopic1 Question2
Variable Name3  Notes4
Employment Status The next few questions are about employment status.

Which of the following were you (or person) doing last week?

* Read answer categories.

1 Working for pay at a job or business

2 With a job or business but not at work

3 Looking for work

4 Working, but not for pay, at a family-owned job or business

5 Not working at a job or business and not looking for work

7 Refused

9 Don’t know

 DOINGLW Responses of 1, 2, or 4 were recoded as “Employed” for the WHC.

Variable Source: Family Questionnaire/Person Data File

Industry [With regards to your MAIN job or business]

What kind of business or industry was this? (For example: TV and radio mgt., retail shoe store, State Department of Labor)

KINDIND

 

Text responses were coded to 4-digit Census industry codes then recoded into detailed and simple industry categories by NCHS for the public data release. NIOSH accessed the restricted 4-digit Census industry codes through the NCHS Research Data Center for some specific industry categories of interest.

[1] Subtopic lists the topics/subtopics/query options included in worker health charts (e.g. employment status, race, gender).

[2] Question provides either the exact wording of the question as administered during the survey or a paraphrase of the question for brevity. 

[3] Variable Name lists the names given by the NHIS program to each variable. When multiple variables were used for Subtopic calculations, all variables are listed.

[4] Notes provide additional information about the variable. Unless otherwise noted, the variables can be found in the Sample Adult data files. 

Subtopic1 Question2 Variable Name3  Notes4
Ever Diagnosed with Cancer Have you EVER been told by a doctor or other health professional that you had

…Cancer or a malignancy of any kind?

CANEV
Ever Diagnosed with Asthma Have you EVER been told by a doctor or other health professional that you had asthma? AASMEV
Currently Have Asthma Do you still have asthma? AASSTILL
Ever Diagnosed with Diabetes [Fill1:Other than during pregnancy, have you EVER been told by a doctor or other health professional that you have diabetes or sugar diabetes?]/[Fill2:Have you EVER been told by a doctor or other health professional that you have diabetes or sugar diabetes?] DIBEV
Ever Diagnosed with hypertension Now I am going to ask you about certain medical conditions. Have you EVER been told by a doctor or other health professional that you had

… Hypertension, also called high blood pressure?

HYPEV
Hearing Difficulty Which statement best describes your hearing without a hearing aid: good, a little trouble, a lot of trouble, deaf?

WITHOUT the use of hearing aids or other listening devices, is your hearing excellent, good, a little trouble hearing, moderate trouble, a lot of trouble, or are you deaf?

>AHEAERST<

AHEARST1

2004-2006

*Responses 2-4 categorized as hearing-difficulty

2007-2013

*Responses 3-6 categorized as hearing-difficulty

Had Migraine in the past 3 months DURING THE PAST THREE MONTHS, did you have

…Severe headache or migraine?

AMIGR
Ever Diagnosed with Ulcers

 

Have you EVER been told by a doctor or other health professional that you had

…An ulcer

This could be a stomach, duodenal or peptic ulcer.

ULCEV

[1]  Subtopic lists the topics/subtopics/query options included in worker health charts (e.g. employment status, race, gender).

[2] Question provides either the exact wording of the question as administered during the survey or a paraphrase of the question for brevity. 

[3] Variable Name lists the names given by the NHIS program to each variable. When multiple variables were used for Subtopic calculations, all variables are listed.

[4] Notes provide additional information about the variable. Unless otherwise noted, the variables can be found in the Sample Adult data files.

Subtopic1 Question2 Variable Name3  Notes4
Ever Diagnosed with Arthritis Have you EVER been told by a doctor or other health professional that you have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia (fy-bro-my-AL-jee-uh)? ARTH
Current Activity Limitations Due to Arthritis or Joint Symptoms Are you now limited in any way in any of your usual activities because of arthritis or joint symptoms? ARTHLMT
Lower Extremity Joint Symptoms in the Past 30 Days;

 

Upper Extremity Joint Symptoms in the Past 30 Days

The next questions refer to your joints. Please do NOT include the back or neck. DURING THE PAST 30 DAYS, have you had any symptoms of pain, aching, or stiffness in or around a joint?

Which joints are affected?
01 Shoulder-right
02 Shoulder-left
03 Elbow-right
04 Elbow-left
05 Hip-right
06 Hip-left
07 Wrist-right
08 Wrist-left
09 Knee-right
10 Knee-left
11 Ankle-right
12 Ankle-left
13 Toes-right
14 Toes-left
15 Fingers/thumb-right
16 Fingers/thumb-left
17 Other joint not listed

JNTSYMP

JMTHP1-JMTHP17

*Notes:

If joint/s affected include 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 15, or 16, then Upper extremity pain=yes;

If joint/s affected include 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, or 14 then Lower extremity pain=yes.

 

Joint Symptoms Resulting in Having Seen a Health Professional Have you EVER seen a doctor or other health professional for these joint symptoms? JNTHP
Neck Pain in the Past 3 Months The following questions are about pain you may have experienced in the PAST THREE MONTHS. Please refer to pain that LASTED A WHOLE DAY OR MORE. Do not report aches and pains that are fleeting or minor.

DURING THE PAST THREE MONTHS, did you have

… Neck pain?

PAINECK
Low Back Pain in the Past 3 Months DURING THE PAST THREE MONTHS, did you have

… Low back pain?

PAINLB

[1] Subtopic lists the topics/subtopics/query options included in worker health charts (e.g. employment status, race, gender).

[2] Question provides either the exact wording of the question as administered during the survey or a paraphrase of the question for brevity. 

[3] Variable Name lists the names given by the NHIS program to each variable. When multiple variables were used for Subtopic calculations, all variables are listed.

[4] Notes provide additional information about the variable. Unless otherwise noted, the variables can be found in the Sample Adult data files.

Any Current Alcohol Use In the PAST YEAR, how often did you drink any type of alcoholic beverage? ALC12MNO Any drinks in the past year were coded to Any Alcohol Use
Influenza Vaccination in the Past Year DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, have you had a flu shot? A flu shot is usually given in the fall and protects against influenza for the flu season. * Read if necessary: A flu shot is injected in the arm. Do not include an influenza vaccine sprayed in the nose.
 

DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, have you had a flu vaccine sprayed in your nose by a doctor or other health professional? A health professional may have let you spray it. This vaccine is usually given in the fall and protects against influenza for the flu season.

 

SHTFLU2

SPRFLU2

In 2010, receiving either the seasonal flu vaccine or the h1N1 flu vaccine counted as having received a flu vaccine in the past year.
Meet CDC Aerobic Exercise Recommendations The next questions are about physical activities (exercise, sports, physically active hobbies…) that you may do in your LEISURE time.
 

How often do you do VIGOROUS leisure-time physical activities for AT LEAST 10 MINUTES that cause HEAVY sweating or LARGE increases in breathing or heart rate? How many times per day, per week, per month, or per year do you do these activities?

About how long do you do these vigorous leisure-time physical activities each time?

How often do you do LIGHT OR MODERATE LEISURE-TIME physical activities for AT LEAST 10 MINUTES that cause ONLY LIGHT sweating or a SLIGHT to MODERATE increase in breathing or heart rate? How many times per day, per week, per month, or per year do you do these activities?
About how long do you do these light or moderate leisure-time physical activities each time?

VIGNO

VIGMIN

MODNO

MODMIN

Respondents who reported 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week or some combination of the two were considered to meet CDC aerobic exercise recommendations
Obesity (BMI>30) How tall are you without shoes?

How much do you weigh without shoes?

AHEIGHT

AWEIGHTP

BMI was calculated as

[Weight (kg)/ [Height (m) squared]] rounded to 2 decimal places. Conversion

factors: 1 kg = 2.20462 pounds;

1 meter (m) = 39.37008 inches.

For both men and women,

underweight is BMI < 18.5;

healthy weight is BMI 18.5 to <25;

Overweight is BMI > = 25 to <30; obese is BMI > = 30. 

Current Smoking Have you smoked at least 100 cigarettes in your ENTIRE LIFE?

Do you NOW smoke cigarettes every day, some days or not at all?

SMKEV

SMKNOW

Respondents who answered Yes to SMKEV and “Every Day” or “Some Day” to SMKNOW were classified as current smokers.

[1] Subtopic lists the topics/subtopics/query options included in worker health charts (e.g. employment status, race, gender).

[2] Question provides either the exact wording of the question as administered during the survey or a paraphrase of the question for brevity. 

[3] Variable Name lists the names given by the NHIS program to each variable. When multiple variables were used for Subtopic calculations, all variables are listed. Unless otherwise noted, the variables can be found in the Sample Adult data files.

[4] Notes provide additional information about the variable. Unless otherwise noted, the variables can be found in the Sample Adult data files. 

Subtopic1 Question2 Variable Name3  Notes4
Ever Tested for HIV The next questions are about the test for HIV (the virus that causes AIDS).

[fill: Except for tests you may have had as part of blood donations, have you ever been tested for HIV?/Have you ever been tested for HIV?]

HIVTST

HIVTST1

ACIHIVT

2004-2010

2011-2012

2013

Contact with a Dentist in the Past Year About how long has it been since you last saw a dentist? Include all types of dentists, such as orthodontists, oral surgeons, and all other dental specialists, as well as dental hygienists. ADENLONG

Final

ADNLONG2

Note: Any response of <1 year was coded as Yes to having seen a dentist in the past year.

 

Emergency Room Visit in the Past Year DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, HOW MANY TIMES have you gone to a HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM about your own health? (This includes emergency room visits that resulted in a hospital admission.) AHERNOYR

Final:

AHERNOY2

Any response of >0 was coded as Yes to having an emergency room visit in the past year.

 

Having a Usual Place to Go for Medical Care Is there a place that you USUALLY go to when you are sick or need advice about your health? AUSUALPL  
Having Visited a Primary Care Provider in the Past Year DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, have you seen or talked to any of the following health care providers about your own health? ….. A mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse, or clinical social worker AHCSY1_1

Final:

AHCSYR1

 
No Health Insurance Coverage Information was pulled from multiple questions for this topic. NOTCOV Universe: AGE = ALL Description: All persons

Sources: MEDICARE, MEDICAID,

PRIVATE, OTHPUB, SCHIP, OTHGOV, MILCARE

The uninsured are persons who did not report having health insurance at the time of the interview under private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a State-sponsored health plan, other government programs, or military health plan (includes TRICARE, VA, and CHAMP-VA). This definition of uninsured matches that used in Health United States.

Variable Source: Family Questionnaire/Person Data File

Offered Health Insurance by Employer Regarding {person’s} job or work last week, was health insurance offered to {person} through {person’s} workplace? HIEMPOF Variable Source: Family Questionnaire/Person Data File
Surgery in the past year DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, have you had SURGERY or other surgical procedures either as an inpatient or outpatient? ASRGYR  

[1]  Subtopic lists the topics/subtopics/query options included in worker health charts (e.g. employment status, race, gender).

[2] Question provides either the exact wording of the question as administered during the survey or a paraphrase of the question for brevity.

[3] Variable Name lists the names given by the NHIS program to each variable. When multiple variables were used for Subtopic calculations, all variables are listed.

[4] Notes provide additional information about the variable. Unless otherwise noted, the variables can be found in the Sample Adult data files.

Subtopic1 Question2 Variable Name3  Notes4
2+ Days Spent in Bed Due to Injury/Illness in Past Year During the PAST 12 MONTHS, that is, since {12-month ref. date}, ABOUT how many days did illness or injury keep you in bed more than half of the day? (Include days while an overnight patient in a hospital)? BEDDAYR Any response ≥2 was coded as Yes.
6+ Work Days Missed Due to Injury/ Illness in Past Year During the PAST 12 MONTHS, that is, since {12-month ref. date}, ABOUT how many days did you miss work at a job or business because of illness or injury (do not include maternity leave)? WKDAYR Any response ≥6 was coded as Yes.
Any Functional Limitation from Any Condition Any functional limitation, all conditions

1 Limited in any way

2 Not limited in any way

3 Unknown if limited

FLA1AR Sources: FLWALK; FLCLIMB; FLSTAND;

FLSIT; FLSTOOP; FLREACH; FLGRASP; FLCARRY; FLPUSH; FLSHOP; FLSOCL; FLRELAX

See note under “No Health Insurance”

Fair/Poor Self-Rated Health Would you say (your/person’s) health in general is excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor? PHSTAT Variable Source: Family Questionnaire/Person Data File
Health Declined in Past Year Compared with 12 MONTHS AGO, would you say your health is better, worse, or about the same? AHSTATYR  

[1]  Subtopic lists the topics/subtopics/query options included in worker health charts (e.g. employment status, race, gender).

[2] Question provides either the exact wording of the question as administered during the survey or a paraphrase of the question for brevity. 

[3] Variable Name lists the names given by the NHIS program to each variable. When multiple variables were used for Subtopic calculations, all variables are listed.

[4] Notes provide additional information about the variable. Unless otherwise noted, the variables can be found in the Sample Adult data files.

Variable Source: Family

Subtopic1 Question2 Variable Name3  Notes4
Currently have >1 Job Do you have more than one job or business?

 

ONEJOB  
Earning <$36,000/year What is your best estimate of {person’s} earnings (include hourly wages, salaries, tips and commissions) before taxes and deductions from ALL jobs and businesses in [last calendar year in 4-digit format]? Final: ERNYR_P Variable Source: Family Questionnaire/Person Data File
Employed in Current Job for <6 Years About how long [If DOINGLW2 eq <1,2,4>] have you worked at this MAIN job or business?

 

WRKLONGN  
Having Paid Sick Leave [If DOINGLW2 eq <1,2,4>] Do you have paid sick leave on this MAIN job or business? PDSICK  
In White Collar Occupations What kind of work were you doing? (For example: farming, mail clerk, computer specialist.) KINDWRK Text responses were coded to

4-digit Census occupation codes then

recoded into detailed and simple industry

categories by NCHS for the public data release. We classified the detailed occupation recode categories 1-31 and 53-64 as White Collar. For a list of occupation recodes,

see pp. 426-429 of the Cdc-pdf

2013 Sample Adult Layout documentCdc-pdf

Offered Health Insurance by Employer Regarding {person’s} job or work last week, was health insurance offered to {person} through {person’s} workplace? HIEMPOF                                                            
Paid by the Hour [If DOINGLWA eq <1,2,4>]: Are you paid by the hour at this MAIN job or business? HOURPD

Final:

HOURPDA

 
Working <48 Hours per Week (If DOINGLWP eq 1 or 4)

How many hours did {person} work LAST WEEK at ALL jobs or businesses?

(Else)

How many hours {does person} USUALLY work at ALL jobs or businesses?

WRKHRS2 Variable Source: Family Questionnaire/Person Data File

[1]  Subtopic lists the topics/subtopics/query options included in worker health charts (e.g. employment status, race, gender).

[2] Question provides either the exact wording of the question as administered during the survey or a paraphrase of the question for brevity. 

[3] Variable Name lists the names given by the NHIS program to each variable. When multiple variables were used for Subtopic calculations, all variables are listed.

[4] Notes provide additional information about the variable. Unless otherwise noted, the variables can be found in the Sample Adult data files.

Subtopic1 Question2 Variable Name3  Notes4
<High School Education What is the HIGHEST level of school {person has} completed or the highest degree {person has} received? Please tell me the number from the card. EDUC

Final: EDUC1

Variable Source: Family Questionnaire/Person Data File
Born in the U.S. {Was person} born in the United States? PLBORN Variable Source: Family Questionnaire/Person Data File

[1] Subtopic lists the topics/subtopics/query options included in worker health charts (e.g. employment status, race, gender).

[2] Question provides either the exact wording of the question as administered during the survey or a paraphrase of the question for brevity. 

[3] Variable Name lists the names given by the NHIS program to each variable. When multiple variables were used for Subtopic calculations, all variables are listed.

[4] Notes provide additional information about the variable. Unless otherwise noted, the variables can be found in the Sample Adult data files.

Page last reviewed: October 9, 2018