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FSNUM
Number of full sisters

Codes

FSNUM is a two-digit count variable.

03: Beginning in 2015, top code of 3 or more
21: Prior to 2015, to code of 21 or more
96: Not in Universe
97: Unknown-Refused
98: Unknown-Not Ascertained
99: Unknown-Don't Know

Description

For sample adults, FSNUM reports the number of full sisters (either alive or dead) of the respondent.

The Manuals for all years define "full siblings" as people who have "the same biological father and mother." Thus, a respondent's full sister is a sister who has the same biological father and mother as the respondent (i.e., not half-sisters, stepsisters, adopted sisters, foster sisters, or sisters-in-law).

Rationale for Inquiry 

FSNUM is one of a series of related variables in the "Family History" section of the Cancer Module. In all three years, this section begins with the general comment:

We would like to ask you a few questions about your family history of cancer.

According to the 2000 and 2005 Field Representative's Manuals, the purpose of this and other family cancer history questions is to "determine the prevalence of cancer in families in the population" to "allow a greater understanding of how data obtained from genetics clinics can be applied to the general population." For a full list of available cancer family history variables relating to full sisters, see the variable description for FSBLCAN, which reports whether the respondent had at least one full sister who ever had bladder cancer.

Comparability

Although FSNUM is substantively comparable across all years, users should note two changes in the recoding of values that may affect analyses of data from multiple cancer supplement years.

The first, and most recent, change affects the top code value for FSNUM. Prior to 2015, FSNUM was top coded at 21. Starting in 2015, FSNUM was top coded at 3. The second change, affecting how missing data values were treated for sample adults who completed only part of the cancer supplement, took place between the 2000 and 2005 cancer supplement. In 2000, persons who answered less than 50 percent of the questions in the supplement had a value of "not ascertained" automatically inserted in the appropriate fields of the Cancer Control Module file, whereas in 2005 and later years, persons who answered none of the questions in the supplement had a value of "not ascertained" automatically inserted in the appropriate fields of the Cancer Control Module file.

Universe

  • 1987: Half of sample persons age 18+ (excluded from CACT).
  • 2000; 2005; 2010; 2015: Sample adults age 18+.

Availability

  • 1987, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015

Weights