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Current health condition weakens immune system

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For sample adults interviewed in quarter 3 or 4, IMSPCHC reports whether the respondent has been told by a doctor or other health professional that they currently have a health condition that would weaken the immune system, even without related medications or treatments. Examples include certain kinds of leukemia, lymphoma, or HIV infection. In 2013, IMSPCHC was asked of sample adults who have ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that they had a weakened immune system.

Prior to 2020, this variable was part of the Adult Immunosuppression (AIS) section which consists of seven questions sponsored by the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD, CDC). The purpose of the questions is to estimate the number and percentage of adults with weakened immune systems--both lifetime (IMSUPEV) and current (IMSPSL)--and to ask about possible reasons for their immune compromised state (i.e., from medications (IMSPMED), chronic illnesses or serious health conditions (IMSPCHC, IMSPSHC), cancer (IMSPCAN), or repeated infections or colds (IMSPCLD). For related variables and more information about this supplement, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function and drop-down menus.


While the basic meaning of this variable is completely comparable over time, major questionnaire changes introduced in 2019 may affect comparability with earlier years. 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.


  • 2013: Sample adults 18+ who have ever been told by a doctor/other health professional that they had a weakened immune system
  • 2020: Sample adults age 18+ interviewed in quarter 3 or 4.


  • 2013, 2020