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Joint symptoms began 3+ months ago

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults who had "any symptoms of pain, aching, or stiffness in or around a joint" (excluding the neck and back) during the past 30 days (JNTMO), JNT3MOAGO reports responses to the question, "Did your joint symptoms first begin more than 3 months ago?"

Within the National Health Interview Survey, conditions lasting more than 3 months are generally considered "chronic" rather than "acute," and the 2002 NHIS Survey Description noted that this variable was intended to capture "chronic joint symptoms."


JNTMOAGO is completely comparable over time.

Comparability with Joint Variables before 2002 

In 1997-2001, information on the duration of joint symptoms was collected only for joint symptoms that began because of an injury. A recoded variable, JNTINJURYMO, indicates the duration of injury-caused joint symptoms in months.

Along with the focus on only injury-caused joint problems in JNTINJURYMO, there are other differences between this variable and JNT3MOAGO. Most notable are the differences in the wording and reference period for the questions that open the section of the survey devoted to joint problems (JNTYR in 1997-2001; JNTMO in 2002 forward). In 1997-2001, respondents were asked about joint pain during the past 12 months (versus the past 3 months for 2002 forward), and back and neck problems were not explicitly excluded. Because of these differences, the NHIS Survey Descriptions for 2003 forward warn that any comparisons of joint symptom data before and after 2002 "should be undertaken with caution."


  • 2002-2013; 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018: Sample adults age 18+ who have had any symptoms of pain, aching, or stiffness in or around a joint during the past 30 days.


  • 2002-2018