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Increases chance of cancer: Stress

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample persons ages 18 and older, CRSTRES indicates if the person thinks stress increases a person's chance of getting cancer.

This variable is part of the attitudes and knowledge section of the Cancer Control supplement introduced in the 1987 survey. The overall objective of the Cancer Control supplement is to provide estimates of the prevalence of major cancer risk factors and screening practices and collect information on knowledge and attitudes about risk factors for cancer. The attitudes and knowledge section provides information on what risk factors people think are related to cancer, which are perceived to be responsible for most cancer cases, and to what extent people recall the warning signs of cancer.

Half of sample adults were selected to answer questions for the Cancer Control supplement and the other half were selected to answer questions for the Cancer Epidemiology supplement (CAEP).

Related Variables 

Persons were asked if they thought the following risk factors increase a person's chances of getting cancer:

  • CRGENE inherited make-up or heredity
  • CREATpoor eating practices
  • CRTCHEWusing chewing tobacco, snuff, pipes, or cigars
  • CRTOXSUBexposure to toxic substances on the job
  • CRPEOPLEexposure to people with cancer
  • CRALCexcessive drinking of alcoholic beverages
  • CRSUNexposure to the sun
  • CRSOAPsome strong soaps and detergents
  • CRMEDRADmedical procedures using radiation

An additional variable, CRCOUNT provides a count of the number of items reported as risk factors for cancer.

Persons were also asked how strongly they agree or disagree that there is little a person can do to reduce his or her chances of getting cancer (CRLITTLE).

Persons who mentioned more than two items as increasing a person's chances of getting cancer were asked to identify which two items they think are responsible for most cases of cancer in the USA. The following variables identify if the item was selected as one of two items MOST responsible for increasing cancer risk:

  • CRTCHEW1O2using chewing tobacco, snuff, pipes, or cigars
  • CRALC1O2excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages

Persons were also asked if they think the following items are warning signs and symptoms of cancer:

  • CSIGNBOWL change in bowel or bladder habits
  • CSIGNSKIN changes on skin/rash/blemish/sunspots/blotches

An additional variable, CSIGNCOUNT provides a count of the number of items reported as warning signs or symptoms of cancer.


Changes in survey design (e.g., quarters in which the supplement was collected) may affect raw frequencies, but do not affect comparability of the variable. As always, data users should use the prescribed IPUMS NHIS weights.


  • 1987: Half of sample adults age 18+ (excluded from CAEP).


  • 1987