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Used acupuncture for specific health problem

Codes and Frequencies

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ACUTREAT indicates whether the person used acupuncture to treat a specific health problem or condition. Please see the Comparability and Universe tabs for more information on changes in the variable over time.

This variable is part of the Alternative Health Supplements sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). For information on the purpose of these supplements, along with a list of all modalities of alternative medicine that respondents could report using, a discussion of related acupuncture use variables, and definitions of acupuncture, see ACUYR.

For related variables and more information, please see TABDOM1, or use the search function or IPUMS NHIS drop-down menus.


Changes in universe and question administration pose comparability challenges. In 2002, only sample adults were asked questions about acupuncture; in 2007, sample adults and sample children were asked about use of acupuncture. Beginning in 2012, sample adults and sample children are included in the universe, although whether or not they answered questions about treating specific conditions with acupuncture is dependent upon the person's top three CAM therapies.

Prior to 2012, in universe persons were asked about a series of specific health problems, symptoms, or conditions they may have treated with different complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies. Please see the Survey Text tab for changes in wording between samples.

Beginning in 2012, persons were instead asked to select three of sixteen therapies that were most important and only asked the series of questions related to treating health problems, symptoms, or conditions about these top three therapies. Persons who did not include acupuncture among their top three CAM therapies did not answer follow up questions for this therapy beginning in 2012 and are reported as responding "no". For more detail on how the 2012 version of this variable was constructed, see TABDOM1.


  • 2002: Sample adults age 18+ who have seen a practitioner for acupuncture during the past 12 months.
  • 2007: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children under 18 who have seen a practitioner for acupuncture during the past 12 months.
  • 2012: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children ages 4-17 who reported acupuncture as one of the top 3 CAM therapies used.


  • 2002, 2007, 2012