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Had lot of trouble with abdominal pain, past 12 months

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For sample persons age 18 and over who did not refuse the normative bowel function questions, this variable indicates if the respondent had lot of trouble with abdominal pain in past 12 months. Abdominal pain, defined for the respondent in a previous section of the survey, was pain in the area between the lower ribs and the hips. Respondents were shown a diagram to illustrate the relevant area of the body. This previous section referred to above was a model devoted to questions on abdominal pain, respondents were also instructed not to include pain related to kidneys, bladder, or arthritis or menstruation or pregnancy when answering questions on abdominal pain.

This question was part of the "Normative Bowel Functions" section in a Supplement on Digestive Disorders the 1989 survey. Interviewers prefaced the section on normative bowel functions with the statement, "The next questions are about bowel habits during the past 12 months. Because these questions are personal, I can read the questions to you or if you prefer, you can fill them out yourself." The question for ABPAINTRUBYR was then introduced to the respondent by handing them a card with a list 18 of health problems to which they respondent would reply "yes" or no as to whether the condition was "a lot of trouble."
"A lot of trouble" was defined as the respondent saw or talked to a doctor or other health
professional, took medication more than once, or the problem interfered with their life or usual activities.


ABPAINTRUBYR was part of the 1989 survey supplement on Digestive Disorders, which had three sections. The first section asked about specific conditions such as gallstones, ulcers or colon or bowel conditions (for example, see IRRBOWELYR , ever told by a doctor or other health professional that they had "inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel, or constipation severe enough to require medication"). The second asked about abdominal pain (including ABPAIN3XYR), and the third section was on normative bowel functions, (including ABPAINTRUBYR). This variable is different from ABPAIN3XYR which asked about "any type of pain or severe discomfort in [the] abdomen three or more times" in the past 12 months.

Related Variables

For a list of variables from the 1989 section on normative bowel functions, see the variable description for ABGASTRUBYR.


This variable has no comparability issues.


  • 1989: Sample persons age 18+ who did not refuse to complete bowel function questions.


  • 1989