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Ever told had congenital heart disease

Codes and Frequencies

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CONGHARTEV identifies sample children whom a doctor or other health professional ever diagnosed as having congenital heart disease. Congenital heart disease, which was not defined in the survey documentation, refers to a structural problem in the heart that is present at birth.

Interviewers also asked whether sample children were ever diagnosed by a doctor or other health professional as having some "other heart problem" (i.e., other than congenital heart disease) (NONCONHARTEV).

The 1997 Field Representative's Manual identified a number of conditions falling under the rubric of heart disease in children. Specifically, "heart disease or heart condition can include any of the following: congenital heart disease, chronic heart condition, rheumatic heart disease, heart murmurs, atrial or mitral valve disease/damage, etc." For 1998 forward, the Manual replaced this listing with a single broad statement: "Heart disease or heart condition should be included if a doctor has told the parent or guardian that the child has any kind of heart problem or condition." Neither of these statements was routinely shared with respondents.


Slight changes in how this question was asked were implemented in 2008 and 2014. Prior to 2008, respondents were presented with a card listing ten conditions: Down syndrome, Cerebral palsy, Muscular dystrophy, Cystic fibrosis, Sickle cell anemia, Autism, Diabetes, Arthritis, Congenital heart disease, and Other heart condition. They were then asked whether "Looking at this list, has a doctor or health professional ever told you that [fill: S.C. name] had any of these conditions? Which ones?" Starting in 2008, respondents were asked first to glance at a list of the same ten conditions and indicate whether "a doctor or health professional ever told you that [fill: S.C. name] had any of these conditions?" If the respondent said yes, they were then asked to select all of the conditions with which their child had ever been diagnosed. This variable is completely comparable over time. Beginning in 2014, Autism was omitted from this list.


  • 1988: Sample persons under age 18.
  • 1997-2018: Sample children under age 18.


  • 1988, 1997-2018