Welcome to the IHIS Intelligencer

As a registered IHIS data user, you are receiving this newsletter through the new IHIS listserv. Through this newsletter, IHIS users can now get the latest updates on data releases, website features, examples of research and teaching using IHIS, methodological tips, and upcoming workshops and exhibits. Please pass the newsletter along to friends, colleagues, and students who would find IHIS useful.

IHIS (http://www.ihis.us/) now contains approximately 13,500 consistently coded variables and covers the years from 1963 to 2012!

News, January 2014

Upcoming Data Release
User Note on Variables Monitoring the Affordable Care Act
Call for Nominations
Research Tool Reminder: Online Tabulator
Upcoming Events
Citation of IHIS

User Support

Upcoming Data Release

IHIS now includes data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. Much of the 2012 data was released by IHIS in September 2013.

Approximately 600 new variables have been added to IHIS, including new variables for the 2012 supplements. New or expanded supplements in 2012 that are now part of IHIS include: child balance (e.g. causes and consequences of balance issues); complementary and alternative medicine; enhanced questions on health care access and utilization; food security; child mental health and child mental health services; tobacco; voice, speech, and language; heart disease and stroke prevention, used to measure the Million Hearts initiative; as well as internet and email usage.

User Note on Variables Monitoring the Affordable Care Act

Beginning with the 2011 NHIS, around 85 new questions about health insurance coverage, healthcare access and utilization, and poverty were added to the survey. These variables were explicitly designed to monitor the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The 2012 NHIS made slight modifications to these questions to enhance monitoring of the ACA. IHIS has created a user note that lists these variables, and the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) has released a brief on the new variables.

Call for Nominations

The Minnesota Population Center is holding its sixth annual competition for the best research papers using the IPUMS microdata collection. Researchers with papers or publications that utilize IHIS - or other IPUMS microdata series - to study social, economic, and/or demographic processes are eligible and encouraged to apply.

Cash prizes are awarded for the best published work as well as the best work by a graduate student, published or unpublished. The deadline for submission is February 15, 2014. Details on nominating a paper for an award (self-nominations are welcome) are available here.

Research Tool Reminder: Online Tabulator

Users can now analyze IHIS data for 1963-2012 with our online tabulator. Our system uses the Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA) software developed at UC-Berkeley's Computer-assisted Survey Methods Program. The SDA provides access to approximately 12,000 variables and allows users to get frequencies and crosstabulations, create mean comparisons and correlation matrices, generate comparisons of correlations, run multiple regressions as well as probit/logit regressions, and list values of individual cases. As always, users may also utilize the data extract system to download selected variables and years for analysis using major statistical packages.

Upcoming Events

Please visit the MPC/IHIS exhibit booth and presentations to talk to our staff. We would be happy to answer questions, to give a personalized demonstration of the IHIS website and tabulator, and to hear how you used IHIS and how we can improve.

Citation of IHIS

Publications and research reports based on the IHIS database must cite it appropriately. The citation is as follows:

Minnesota Population Center and State Health Access Data Assistance Center, Integrated Health Interview Series: Version 5.0. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2012.

If possible, citations should also include the URL for the IHIS site: http://www.ihis.us

 

User Support

If you have a question about using IHIS, you can e-mail ihis @umn.edu to receive individualized help from our user support staff.

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News, February 2013

Data Releases Add 2011 Data
Pre-1997 Conditions Variables Now Available
New Imputed Income/Poverty Variables Released
Full Documentation Available for 1,000 Additional Variables
Website Feature: IHIS-NHIS Concordance
Upcoming Events
Citation of IHIS

User Support

 

Data Releases Add 2011 Data

IHIS now includes data from the 2011 National Health Interview Survey. Much of the 2011 data was released by IHIS in August 2012. The remaining 2011 data are now available.

New topics covered in 2011 that are now part of IHIS include: service in the armed forces; use of fitness facilities; reasons for not having a usual source of care; steps taken in the past year to save money on medical care (e.g., delaying care, skipping medication doses, buying medicine from foreign countries); most recent ER visit; last health care visit; long-term care insurance; health insurance coverage in the past 3 years; treatment of children's mental health; and food security.

 

Pre-1997 Conditions Variables Now Available

The IHIS staff has created over 100 person-level variables from the pre-1997 "condition records". Condition information from that period was collected in the form of many-to-one condition records, where each health condition appears as a single record. This structure made the data from the conditions records difficult to analyze in concert with other IHIS/NHIS data that treat the person or household as the unit of analysis. IHIS now makes it possible to analyze data from the pre-1997 conditions records as person-level data. Users can now analyze chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and breast cancer over a longer time series than was previously available.

 

New Imputed Income/Poverty Variables Released

The IHIS staff has created new variables that reflect the ratio of imputed income to the federal poverty guidelines. (Note: The federal poverty guidelines are different from the federal poverty thresholds. See here for information on the difference.) These variables (i.e., the POVIMPHHS1 through POVIMPHHS5 series) cover 2009-2011 and are constructed from imputed point estimates of income. Users should refer to the variable descriptions for these variables for links to NHIS documentation on appropriate use of variables with imputed data.

 

Full Documentation Available for 1,000 Additional Variables

As of February 2013, approximately 1,000 variables have been moved to the status of having full documentation.

  • AIDS (blood tests, risk, discrimination)
  • health behaviors (general, cigarette and tobacco use, exercise, firearms, sun exposure)
  • cancer testing/screening (colon, genetics, oral, PSA, skin)
  • dental care
  • balance problems
  • conditions (cancer, emotional problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, dermatitis, epilepsy, falls, growth problems, learning disabilities, tinnitus)
  • limitations/aids (use of assistive-listening devices and hearing aids, general devices, hearing limitations, vision limitations)

 

Website Feature: IHIS-NHIS Concordance

A key feature of the IHIS website is the IHIS-NHIS Concordance. This feature is especially useful for experienced users of NHIS public-use data. Users can enter an original NHIS variable name to find the name of the equivalent harmonized IHIS variable. Conversely, users can enter the name of a harmonized IHIS variable to learn the name of the original NHIS variable(s).

For example, if an IHIS user wanted to learn what NHIS variables have been included in the harmonized IHIS variable UNINSURED, the concordance will produce the following output:

The concordance is also available as a downloadable Excel file.

 

Upcoming Events

  • Miram L. King and Ryan Moltz. "Differences in Insurance Coverage and Access to Health Care for Married Persons and Same-Sex and Different-Sex Unmarried Partners: Evidence from the National Health Interview Survey, 2007-2011." Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting. Boston. March 24, 8:30-9:00am.
  • Sirry Alang and Ellen McGreedy. "Are Patterns of Racial Disparities in Health Status and Health Insurance Coverage in the U.S. Replicated Among Immigrants?" Midwest Sociological Society. Chicago. March 27-30.
  • Ryan Moltz, Miriam L. King, and Christine Kunitz. "The Mainstreaming of U.S. HIV Testing?: Evidence from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey, 1988-2010." Department of Sociology Workshop Series. University of Minnesota. Minneapolis. 1114 Social Sciences. April 2, 4:00-5:15.
  • MPC exhibit, Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, April 11-13, 2013.
  • Presentations by IHIS staff at PAA:
    • Sirry Alang, Carrie Henning-Smith, and Kathleen Rowan. "Disability, Health Insurance and Serious Psychological Distress (SPD) among U.S. Adults: Evidence from the IHIS."
    • Carrie Henning-Smith and Christine Kunitz. "Demographic predictors of disparities in access to care for children with emotional/behavioral disorders."
    • Miram L. King and Ryan Moltz. "Differences in Insurance Coverage and Access to Health Care for Married Persons and Same-Sex and Different-Sex Unmarried Partners: Evidence from the National Health Interview Survey, 2007-2011."
    • Kathy Rowan and Christine Kunitz. "The Impact of Unmet Health Needs on Self-Rated Health and Out-of-Pocket Spending: Findings from IHIS-MEPS Linked Data."

     

    Citation of IHIS

    Publications and research reports based on the IHIS database must cite it appropriately. The citation is as follows:

    Minnesota Population Center and State Health Access Data Assistance Center, Integrated Health Interview Series: Version 5.0. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2012.

    If possible, citations should also include the URL for the IHIS site: http://www.ihis.us

     

    User Support

    If you have a question about using IHIS, you can e-mail ihis @umn.edu to receive individualized help from our user support staff.

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    News, October 2011

    Data Release Adds 2010 Data
    5,000 New Variables in IHIS
    Data Release Adds Material for 1963-1968
    New Look for IHIS Variable Descriptions
    Fill Your Data Cart with the IHIS Extract System
    Never a Dumb Question: Selecting the Right Weight
    Visit Us at Upcoming IHIS Events

     

    Data Release Adds 2010 Data

    IHIS now includes data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey. New topics covered in 2010 and now part of IHIS include: treatment for children with emotional difficulties; quality of life; and occupational health problems (i.e., asthma, dermatitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome). Also included in the 2010 survey are a wide range of variables related to cancer risk factors (such as family history), cancer testing, and cancer treatment.

     

    5,000 New Variables in IHIS

    On the advice of the IHIS Advisory Board, IHIS just added 5,000 new "preliminary variables" in its data release. A written description is not yet included for "preliminary variables," but other elements of the documentation (reporting who answered the question, the question wording, appropriate weights, the codes and frequencies, and the NHIS variable names and source files) are available. All variables included on the IHIS website can be included in a data extract. The preliminary variables can also soon be analyzed using the IHIS online tabulator. These additional integrated variables greatly expand the number of topics researchers can study using IHIS.

     

    Data Release Adds Material for 1963-1968

    IHIS now includes data from the historical public files from 1963 to 1968, created via a partnership between IHIS and staff at the National Center for Health Statistics. To increase comparability across years, IHIS staff reformatted the data from 1962-1967 to be in calendar year rather than fiscal year format, so these historical data differ from the NHIS public use files for the same period. With material extending from 1963 to 2010, IHIS makes it easy to study change in health behaviors, health care, and health status across nearly a half century.

     

    New Look for IHIS Variable Descriptions

    So users can select the level of detail they need, IHIS variable descriptions have a new format. Information on years available, comparability issues, universe, weights, codes and frequencies, survey text, and NHIS source variables now appears behind tabs at the top of variable descriptions. Users who want additional detail in a variable description can bring it up with a mouse click.

    Ihis VarDescription

     

    Fill Your Data Cart with the IHIS Extract System

    It's easier than ever to make an IHIS data extract containing the years and variables you need. The IHIS extract system is now closely integrated with the variable display page. Users can add a variable to their "Data Cart" by clicking on the circle to the left of the variable name, select the samples they need (with all years as the default choice), and then proceed to "check out." Adding and/or subtracting variables and samples is easy. How to use the IHIS extract system is described in the IHIS FAQ.

     

    Never a Dumb Question: Selecting the Right Weight

    Guidance on using weights in IHIS is provided by a user note on weights and in the "weights" tab of the description of each variable. Here's an additional piece of advice: when combining variables with different suggested weights, use the most restrictive weight.

    For example, users might wish to combine a variable available only for sample adults or sample children (e.g., ASTHMAEV, which takes SAMPWEIGHT ) with a variable available for all persons (e.g., SEX, available for all persons and thus taking PERWEIGHT). In such cases, a researcher should select the most restrictive weight (here, SAMPWEIGHT).

    In some cases, the sampling for a single variable changes over time. For example, data on years spent in the U.S., YRSINUS, was collected for foreign-born sample adults in 1997 and for all foreign-born adults other years. The recommended weight for YRSINUS is thus SAMPWEIGHT for 1997 and PERWEIGHT in other years. To analyze all years of data for YRSINUS, researchers should create a new weight variable (e.g., NEWEIGHT) that has the value of SAMPWEIGHT in 1997 and the value of PERWEIGHT in other years.

    If you have a question about using IHIS, you can e-mail ihis @umn.edu to receive individualized help from our user support staff.

     

    Visit Us at Upcoming IHIS Events

    Please visit the MPC/IHIS exhibit booth and presentations to talk to our staff. We would be happy to answer questions, to give a personalized demonstration of the IHIS website and tabulator, and to hear how you used IHIS and how we can improve.

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