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Duration of limiting back/neck problem: Time period

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For persons age 18+ who have at least one activity limitation (LANY), and for whom a back or neck problem was reported as a condition causing any activity limitation (CLIMBACK), CLIMBACKTP reports the time unit in which the duration of the back or neck problem was measured by the respondent.

Data on the duration of limiting back or neck problem were collected via the question, "How long [have/has] [you/person] had [a back or neck problem]?" Respondents could answer this open-ended question using the time unit of their choice (i.e., days, weeks, months, years, or since birth). The original responses to the question are reported in two complementary variables, CLIMBACKTP (which, as noted above, specifies the time unit) and CLIMBACKNO (which reports the number of such units). For the NHIS public use files, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) recoded the results from these two variables to create two other variables using standard time units: years (CLIMBACKY) and groups of months (CLIMBACKMO).


The variable is completely comparable across time.


  • 1997-2013; 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018: Persons age 18+ limited due to back/neck problem.


  • 1997-2018