Status:Closed    Asked:Apr 07, 2017 - 02:36 PM

LACARE in NHIS before 1997

In the original NHIS data set before 1997 person file, there is a variable called LACARE, which is the indicator of needing help with personal care. However I couldn't find the same variable in the IPUMS NHIS data project. I am wondierng if the variable is recoded.

LACARE, NEEDS HELP WITH PERSONAL CARE (5-59 years old and limited, or age 60-69 years)*

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Staff Answer


Jeff Bloem


It seems this information is recorded in the IPUMS Health Surveys variable IRCARE, however, it is only available from 1997-2003. It looks like this variable is part of a group of variables that were implemented in 1997. If you are able to provide documentation of the LACARE variable pre-1997, then we will be able to look into potentially extending the availability of this variable in the future.


Apr 10, 2017 - 12:43 PM

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Thank you for answring. I think I meant a different variable. For 1991 data, it is in location 74, page 59 in the core file layouts.


Apr 10, 2017 - 02:04 PM

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Thank you for sending this documentation. This variable is a bit different than the variable, IRCARE, currently available in IPUMS Health Surveys. Most notibly, the universe for IRCARE is for all persons age 4+ who had at least one injury (between 1997-1999) or injury/poisoning (between 2000-2003). This variable that you point to is from a set of questions asked to individuals who are age 60+ or who have limitations that affect their ability to do normal activities.

That being said, I'm not 100% certain why these "limitations" questions are not included in the IPUMS Health Care variables. I've passed along your interest to the team and they will look into including these variables in the future. As of right now, however, this variable is not available in IPUMS Health Surveys.


Apr 11, 2017 - 10:26 AM

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