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Ever had stroke, with or without medical confirmation

Codes and Frequencies

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STROKEWOC identifies persons age 20 and older who ever had a stroke and records whether the diagnosis of stroke was confirmed by a doctor.

The information included in STROKEWOC was collected via two separate lines of questioning. Interviewers asked, "Has [name] ever had a stroke?" and, if the response was affirmative, "Has a doctor ever told [name] he had a stroke?" In addition, the person was recorded as having had a stroke and asked about a doctor's diagnosis if "stroke" was reported as the reason why an individual was limited in daily activities (i.e., "needs the help of another person in getting around," "stays in bed all or most of the day," or "needs help in bathing/dressing/eating/using the toilet").

In the 1977 Interviewer's Manual, interviewers were directed to ask the question if a term other than "stroke" (such as "brain hemorrhage") was given in response to the question, "Has [name] ever had a stroke?," and to consider as a "No" response any term other than "stroke."


This variable is only available in 1977.

For 1997 forward, sample adults who were ever told by a doctor or other health professional that they had a stroke are identified in STROKEV. Only cases coded as "2" (Yes, medically confirmed) in STROKEWOC are roughly comparable to cases with an affirmative response in STROKEV. Along with the notable difference in question wording for the two variables, there is a difference in the range of responses that were accepted. As noted above, anything other than the term "stroke" was coded as "No" for STROKEWOC. By contrast, the Field Representative's Manual for 1997-2000 directed interviewers to "include strokes, cerebrovascular accidents, and brain hemorrhages" as "Yes" responses for STROKEV.


  • 1977: Persons age 20+.
  • 1984: Sample persons age 55+.


  • 1977, 1984