Codes and Frequencies
HYPERTENYR indicates whether persons had hypertension or high blood pressure during the past 12 months. In 1977, this information was collected for all persons age 20 and older; in 2002 and 2007, it was collected only from sample adults age 18+ who were ever diagnosed by a doctor or other health professional as having hypertension (HYPERTENEV); in 2012 sample children ages 6-17 were also included. Beginning in 2013, it was collected from sample adults age 18+ who were ever told they had hypertension and were told they had hypertension on two or more different visits to a health professional (HYP2TIME).
HYPERTENYR is completely comparable for the 2013-2018 samples. Beginning in 2019, changes in the NHIS questionnaire affect the comparability of 2019 and later samples to earlier data. The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.
Along with universe differences, other procedural changes limit the comparability of this variable between the 1977 and later samples.
There were slight differences in the question wording between the two time periods.
In 1977, interviewers asked, "During the past 12 months, did [you/person] have high blood pressure or hypertension?" In 2002 and 2007, interviewers asked, "During the past 12 months, have you had hypertension, also called high blood pressure?" The substantive meaning of the two questions was the same, however.
More significant differences are the presence of proxy reporting in 1977 but not in 2002 and 2007 and a caution in the 1977 documentation to use this information for classification purposes only, and not for the purpose of prevalence estimation.
In the earlier year, a respondent representing the family could answer this question for other adult family members. In 2002 and 2007, except in rare cases where disability precluded self-reporting, sample adults themselves answered the question. Because self-reporting is likely to be more accurate than proxy reporting, particularly for non-disabling health problems, researchers should exercise caution when comparing results between 1977 and 2002/2007.
The notes in the Codebook for 1977 state that these data "were collected for classification purposes only and not to ascertain prevalence estimates."
- 1977: Persons age 20+.
- 2002; 2007: Sample adults age 18+ who were ever told they had high blood pressure.
- 2012: Sample children age 6+ and sample adults age 18+ who were ever told they have high blood pressure/hypertension.
- 2013-2018: Sample adults 18+ who were ever told they had hypertension and were told they had hypertension on 2+ visits.
- 2019-2020: Sample adults 18+ who were ever told they had hypertension and were told they had hypertension on 2+ visits.
- 1977, 2002, 2007, 2012-2020