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Took Calcium, past 30 days

Codes and Frequencies

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VITMOCALC indicates whether a sample person had taken calcium in the past 30 days.

In 1987, this information was asked of sample adults who had taken vitamin or mineral supplements (VITANY) and calcium (VITACALC) in the past 12 months. In 2007, this information was collected from both sample adults and sample children who had taken vitamins or minerals in the past 30 days (VITMO). In 2015, the information was collected for sample adults aged 18 and older who have taken vitamins or mineral supplements in the past month

Persons with an affirmative response to VITMOCALC took calcium as a stand-alone supplement, rather than as part of a combination vitamin and/or mineral supplement.


Persons taking such a combination supplement (VITMOCOMBO) were not asked which particular vitamins or minerals were included in those supplements, so it is not possible to ascertain whether calcium was included in a given sample person's multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement.

Question Wording and Data Collection 

In 1987, sample adults were asked, "Did you take any calcium in the past month?"

In 2007, responses to VITMOCALC by sample adults were obtained as follows: While administering the NHIS, interviewers showed respondents a flash card containing a list of vitamins and minerals and asked, "During the past 12 months, have you taken any vitamins or minerals listed on this card for yourself?" Respondents who answered affirmatively (i.e., a "Yes" response in VITYR) were asked, "During the past 30 days, did you take any of these vitamins or minerals?" Sample adults who answered that question affirmatively (i.e., a "Yes" response in VITMO) were instructed, "Please tell me which of these vitamins or minerals you took in the past 30 days. If you take a multi-vitamin or mineral, include it as one supplement." Interviewers were told to "enter all that apply." The questions to collect this information for sample children were similar, except respondents were asked whether the sample child had taken any vitamins or minerals listed on a card.

The 2015 Field Representative's Manual instructed respondents to include any calcium supplements, including Tums or calcium chews. But do not include milk or calcium fortified orange juice and do not include any calcium included in multivitamins.

Related Variables

Calcium was one of 20 possible specific vitamins and minerals that sample adults and respondents for sample children could indicate using in the past month.


The other such vitamins/minerals recognized by the NHIS (with years indicating availability) are:

  • Multivitamin and/or mineral combination (VITMOCOMBO)

For 2007 only, the summary variables VIT1MOST and VIT2MOST report the vitamins and minerals taken most often by sample adults and sample children during the past month. For more information about the full range of variables related to the use of vitamins and minerals, see VITMO.


There are no comparability issues.


  • 1987: Half of sample persons age 18+ (excluded from CACT supplement) who took vitamin/mineral supplements and took calcium in the past 12 months.
  • 2007: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children under 18 who have taken vitamins or minerals in the past 30 days.
  • 2010; 2015: Sample adults 18+ who have taken vitamin or mineral supplements during the past month.


  • 1987, 2007, 2010, 2015