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Number of nights in hospital, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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HOSPNITE indicates the number of nights spent in hospital during the past 12 months for those respondents that had at least one overnight hospital stay (HOSPNGHT).

The Field Representative's Manual provided the following definition of a hospitalization:

A stay of one or more nights in a hospital. Exclude visits to an emergency room or outpatient clinic, even if they occur at night, unless the person is admitted and stays overnight. Do not include stays in the hospital during which the person does not spend at least one night, even though surgery may have been performed. Do not include any nights in the hospital during interview week.

If a person was moved (transferred) from one hospital to another, for example, from a general hospital to a veteran's hospital, record each as a separate hospital stay if each lasted overnight or longer.

When a hospitalization is for childbirth, record one hospital stay for the mother and one for the baby.

Include as a patient in a hospital only persons who were admitted and stayed overnight or longer. Exclude persons who visited emergency rooms or outpatient clinics, unless that person was admitted and stayed overnight and exclude stays for nonmedical reasons, such as staying with a sick family member.


This variable is completely comparable for 1997-2017. Beginning in 2018, the number of nights in a hospital for persons who stayed more than 10 nights are binned and top-coded at 51 nights.


  • 1991: Sample persons age 18+ who have ever smoked 100 cigarettes, whose current smoking status is known, and who smoked at all in the past 12 months.
  • 1997-2018: Persons who stayed overnight in hospital during past 12 months (excluding ER).


  • 1991, 1997-2018