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Had skin cancer, past year (Condition)

Codes and Frequencies

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CANSKINYRC indicates whether the person had skin cancer in the past year. This variable is created with supplemental programming by the IPUMS NHIS staff from the pre-1997 condition records. For general information about IHIS variables (such as CANSKINYRC) created from the pre-1997 condition records, see the User Note on Condition Records and Condition Variables.

Defining Skin Cancer Records and Identifying Persons with Skin Cancer

For all available years, persons who were asked a direct question about having skin cancer and who have a chronic skin cancer condition record are given a "Yes" code for CANSKINYRC. Persons who were asked a direct question about having skin cancer but do not have a chronic skin cancer record are given a code of "No." Persons who were not asked a direct question about skin cancer, or for whom it is unknown whether they were asked such a question, are given a code of "NIU" (not in universe), regardless of whether they have a chronic skin cancer record.

For all available years (1984 to 1996), chronic skin cancer records were defined as those condition records with a code of "119" ("Malignant neoplasms of the skin") in the variable C1CONDRC in the original NHIS public use files. This condition code value comes from NCHS's Diagnostic Recode C: Chronic Conditions and Impairments.

For all available years (1984-1996), CANSKINYRC should be weighted with CONDWT1.

Related Skin Cancer Variables
The nearest equivalents of CANSKINYRC for 1997 forward are CNMELN (Ever had cancer: Melanoma), CNSKNM (Ever had cancer: Skin [non-melanoma]), and CNSKDK (Ever had cancer: Skin [don't know what kind]). However, researchers should use caution when comparing prevalence estimates derived from these two sets of variables, as the reference period and manner of collecting information about skin cancer differs greatly between the two. CANSKINYRC was created by recoding condition records that were generated in response to several different survey questions about health problems underlying disability, sick days, or contacts with health care practitioners in the past year. CNMELN, CNSKNM, and CNSKDK by contrast, are based on direct questions about whether the person ever had various types of skin cancer.


There are no comparability issues with CANSKINYRC.


  • 1984-1996: Persons living in 1/6 of households (who received Condition List 1).


  • 1984-1996