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Ever told have congestive heart failure

Codes and Frequencies

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CONHFAILEV identifies sample adults whom a doctor or other health professional ever diagnosed as having congestive heart failure. In 2002, those who acknowledged ever receiving this diagnosis were asked, "During the past 12 months, have you had congestive heart failure?" (CONHFAILYR).

Congestive heart failure, which was not discussed in the survey documentation, is defined by the Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia as "a life-threatening condition in which the heart can no long pump enough blood to the rest of the body. (Congestive) heart failure is almost always a chronic, long-term condition, although it can sometimes develop suddenly." The most common causes of congestive heart failure are hypertension (high blood pressure) and coronary artery disease.

Related Variables 

In 1997 and subsequent years, the survey collected information from sample adults about a number of other specific conditions related to heart disease. In 1997 forward, sample adults were asked whether they were ever told by a doctor or other health professional that they had angina pectoris (ANGIPECEV). Sample adults were also consistently asked whether they had ever been diagnosed with a heart attack or myocardial infarction (HEARTATTEV), with coronary heart disease (CHEARTDIEV), or with any other kind of heart condition or heart disease (HEARTCONEV). In 2002, follow-up questions for those giving affirmative answers covered whether sample adults had angina pectoris (ANGIPECYR), a heart attack (HEARTATYR), coronary heart disease (CHEARTDIYR), or any other kind of heart disease (HEARTCONYR) during the past 12 months. The 1999 survey collected information on age when first diagnosed with a heart attack (HEARTATAGE).

The 1977 survey included a single, broad question covering all types of heart disease or heart trouble. Specifically, persons age 20 and older were asked, "During the past 12 months, did you have heart disease or heart trouble?" (HEARTDISYR).

For sample children, from 1997 forward, information was collected on whether the child was ever diagnosed with congenital heart disease (CONGHARTEV) or with some other (non-congenital) heart condition (NONCONHARTEV).


This variable is completely comparable between 1999 and 2002.


  • 1999; 2002: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 1999, 2002