Codes and Frequencies
For sample adults age 18+ who have at least one functional activity limitation (FLANY), and for whom either arthritis or rheumatism was reported as a condition causing any functional activity limitation (FLARTH), FLARTHY reports the duration, in years, of the arthritis or rheumatism.
Data on the duration of limiting arthritis or rheumatism were collected via the question, "How long have you had [arthritis or rheumatism]?" Respondents could answer this open-ended question using the time unit of their choice (i.e., days, weeks, months, years, or since birth). The original responses to the question are reported in two complementary variables, FLARTHTP (which specifies the time unit) and FLARTHNO (which 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 (FLARTHY) and groups of months (FLARTHMO).
Apart from a change in the coding of "unknown" cases, this variable is comparable across years.
In 2002 forward, the unknowns were categorized as:
- Unknown number of years (IPUMS NHIS code 96)
- Unknown-refused (IHIS code 97)
- Unknown-not ascertained (IHIS code 98)
- Unknown-don't know (IHIS code 99)
However, in 1997-2001, the category of "Unknown number of years" did not occur.
Analysts can achieve comparability across all years by combining codes for values of 96 and above into a single "unknown" category.
- 1997-2013; 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018: Sample adults age 18+ who have difficulty with activities due to arthritis/rheumatism.
- 1997-2018 : SAMPWEIGHT