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Had a heart attack, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults whom a doctor or other health professional had ever diagnosed as having a heart attack (myocardial infarction) (HEARTATTEV), HEARTATYR reports answers to the question, "During the past 12 months, have you had a heart attack?"

Heart attack was not defined in the survey documentation. The Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia defines heart attack as follows: "A heart attack (myocardial infarction) occurs when an area of heart muscle dies or is permanently damaged because of an inadequate supply of oxygen to that area."

Related Variables 

In 2002 and 2007, the survey identified sample adults who had other forms of heart disease during the past 12 months, including angina pectoris (ANGIPECYR), coronary heart disease (CHEARTDIYR), or any other kind of heart condition or heart disease (other than heart attack, angina pectoris, or coronary heart disease) (HEARTCONYR). Respondents for these inquiries were limited to those whom a doctor or other health professional had ever diagnosed as having the corresponding heart condition (ANGIPECEV, CHEARTDIEV, and HEARTCONEV). Also in 2002, the survey identified sample adults who had congestive heart failure during the past 12 months (CONHFAILYR), again limiting the inquiry to those sample adults who had ever been diagnosed with this condition (CONHFAILEV).

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


This variable is comparable over time.


  • 2002; 2007: Sample adults age 18+ who were ever told by a doctor that they had a heart attack.


  • 2002, 2007