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Duration of limiting intellectual disability: Number of units

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For persons who have at least one activity limitation (LANY), and for whom mental retardation was reported as a condition causing any activity limitation (CLIMRET), CLIMRETNO reports the number of time units which the respondent stated when reporting the duration of the mental retardation.

Data on the duration of limiting mental retardation were collected via the question, "How long [have/has] [you/person] had [mental retardation]?" Respondents could answer this open-ended question using the time unit of their choice (i.e., days, weeks, months, year, or since birth). The original responses to the question are reported in two complementary variables, CLIMRETTP (which specifies the time unit) and CLIMRETNO (which, as noted above, 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 (CLIMRETY) and groups of months (CLIMRETMO).


Beginning in 2011, the phrase "mental retardation" was replaced with the phrase "intellectual disability, also known as mental retardation" in the survey question associated with CLIMRETNO. Apart from this change in wording, the variable is completely comparable for 1997 forward.


  • 1997-2018: Persons limited due to mental retardation.


  • 1997-2018