Worker Health Information from the National Health Interview Survey

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What is the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)?

There are many ways work can affect your health, and some jobs carry more risk than others. The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is one data source that NIOSH and others use to study worker health.

he NHIS consists of a core set of questions that remained relatively unchanged from 1997 to 2018. There are also supplemental questions, which vary from year to year. From 1997 to 2018 the annual core questions included industry and occupation (I&O), so that NHIS data from every year could be used to study general trends in worker health. The content and structure of the NHIS were updated in 2019 to reduce respondent burden and better meet the needs of data users. Now the I&O questions are part of a rotating core module that is included 2 out of every 3 years (e.g., 2020 and 2021).

Occupational Health Supplements (OHS)

In 2010 and 2015, NIOSH sponsored sets of work-related questions in the NHIS, called Occupational Health Supplements (OHSs). We use the information obtained from these two different sets of questions to estimate the prevalence of workplace exposures and common work-related health conditions within the United States. Learn more about the questions asked in the two surveys, including those that were added and removed between survey years.

Within this site, you can learn more about:

  • the survey questions
  • worker health statistics by demographic, industry, or occupation group
  • related resources

You can do your own assessment of worker health patterns by charting core NHIS data (from 2003-2014) or the 2015 OHS data using the NIOSH Worker Health Charts tool. You can also view pre-made charts based on the 2010 OHS survey.

Page last reviewed: October 23, 2020