National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Multiple Cause-of-Death Public Use Data File

Topic/focus: General Health and Nutrition, Vital Events
Year(s): 1986 - 2004
Source: National Center for Health Statistics
Study and sample characteristics: Vital records
Universe: Respondents to the NHIS (survey years 1986 to 2004) who are 18 years of age or older
Variables: Approximately 20
Access: Publically available; restricted use data (more detailed) is also available
Cost: Free
Key web links: National Health Interview Survey: Linked Mortality Files
Primary Institutional Contact: EDRC Coordinator (

Summary: Contains supplementary information for the 1986 through 2004 NHIS. Linkage information was collected of NHIS respondents 18 years old and older to allow for matching to the National Death Index (NDI). Linkage of the NHIS respondents with the NDI provides a longitudinal component to the NHIS that allows for ascertainment of vital status. The addition of vital status permits the use of NHIS data for survival analyses, mortality rates, and life expectancy while using the richness of the NHIS questionnaires as covariates. Information contained in this database includes cause-of-death codes, NCHS cause recodes, and entity-axis and record-axis multiple causes-of-death codes.