TABLE 6A-1 NHIS Sample Size and Response Rates, 2000–2003


Sample Size

Response Rate (%)













SOURCES: NCHS (2002, 2003a,b, 2004).

portions and population counts (average annual) presented are weighted to provide national estimates.

History of cancer Respondents were asked “Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that you had cancer or a malignancy of any kind?” If the respondent reports a history of cancer, he/she is asked the site of the cancer (the interviewer asked about 30 possible cancer sites) and the age when he/she was first diagnosed with that type of cancer (up to three cancer sites/types could be reported). In these analyses, cancer survivors include respondents who reported ever having a diagnosis of cancer, regardless of whether they had symptoms of cancer at the time of the survey. The current cancer status (i.e., active disease or remission) was not ascertained in the interview. A total of 3,150 sample adults ages 25 to 64 reported a history of cancer (excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers).

Insurance status Individuals with more than one type of insurance were coded as having coverage by Medicare, Medicaid, private, or other type of health insurance, in that order. Other coverage includes state-sponsored health plans, other government programs, and military coverage (includes VA, TRICARE, and CHAMP-VA). The uninsured are persons who did not report having health care coverage at the time of the interview under private health insurance (from employer or workplace, purchased directly, or through a state, local government, or community program), Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, a state-sponsored health plan, other government programs, or military health plan.

Number of years since diagnosis Years since diagnosis was calculated from the reported age at interview and age at first diagnosis. When more than one cancer was reported, years since the first diagnosis (excluding superficial skin cancer) were used to calculate years since diagnosis. In a few instances, a correction was made for respondents who provided years since diagnosis instead of age at diagnosis.

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