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Had head/chest cold, past 2 weeks

Codes and Frequencies

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COLD2WK indicates whether sample adults and sample children had a head or chest cold that started during the past 2 weeks. The two-week reference period was marked on a calendar card that was handed to the respondent.

The Survey Description for 1998 contains the following caveat about the interpretation of this variable: "Analysts should keep in mind that the questions (on intestinal illness and colds during the past 2 weeks) are measuring fairly broad symptoms and illnesses. These may be due to acute conditions or chronic conditions (such as irritable bowel syndrome or respiratory allergies). The data are best used to measure trends over time."

In 1999, sample adults who gave an affirmative response to the question about colds in the past 2 weeks were asked a follow-up question about whether they had seen a doctor for this condition (COLDMD2WK).

In 2007, respondents were asked if sample children had a head or chest cold during the past 12 months (COLDYR).


COLD2WK is completely comparable over time.


  • 1998-2018: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children under age 18.


  • 1998-2018