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Duration of limiting musculoskeletal problem: No. of units

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For persons age 18+ who have at least one activity limitation (LANY), and for whom a musculoskeletal problem was reported as a condition causing any activity limitation (CLIMMUSCLE), CLIMMUSCLENO reports the number of time units which the respondent stated when reporting the duration of the musculoskeletal problem.

Data on the duration of limiting musculoskeletal problem were collected via the question, "How long [have/has] [you/person] had [a musculoskeletal 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, CLIMMUSCLETP (which specifies the time unit) and CLIMMUSCLENO (which reports the number of such units). As noted in the Codebooks for 1997 forward, "years are topcoded at 85." 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 (CLIMMUSCLEY) and groups of months (CLIMMUSCLEMO).


The variable is completely comparable across time.


  • 1997-2018: Persons age 18+ limited due to musculoskeletal problem.


  • 1997-2018