Data on Health and Well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Other Native Americans. Health and Retirement Study (HRS)

12/01/2006

Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Description: The University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS) is a national panel study of more than 22,000 Americans over the age of 50. Sponsored by the National Institute on Aging, the study is conducted every two years (1992-2006) and includes core interviews with the sampled respondents and proxy interviews when the sampled respondents have died. The study collects data on physical and mental health, insurance coverage, financial status, family support systems, labor market status, and retirement planning.
Relevant Policy Issues: Measurement of Health Status, Disease-specific Measurements, Income Status, Educational Attainment, Measures of Well-being for Elders, and Factors Contributing to Well-being Disparities of Elders.
Data Type(s): Survey
Unit of Analysis: Individual
Identification of AI/AN/NA: The questionnaire item on race is phrased as follows: Do you consider yourself primarily White or Caucasian, Black or African American, American Indian, or Asian, or something else?

If the respondent indicated either American Indian or Alaska Native (even though the option Alaska Native is not stated in the question), then these two categories are collapsed into a single category. Asians and Pacific Islanders are also collapsed into a single category.

Beginning in 2006, the HRS adopted the more exhaustive Census race item that separates American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

AI/AN/NA Population in Data Set: For the 1992 Core interview:
Total: 12,521
American Indian/Alaska Native: 162

Counts for later waves of the HRS are available from codebooks that can be accessed at no cost from the HRS website. Since the HRS adds new refresher cohorts every six years (most recently in 2004), the count for AI/AN persons may increase, but could also decrease as a result of attrition or death. The overall numbers, however, will not change drastically.

Geographic Scope: The geographic scope of this study is national. Geographic areas are also identified by Census region.
Date or Frequency: The HRS is a longitudinal study. Baseline interviews were conducted in-home and face-to-face beginning in 1992 for the 1931-1941 birth cohort (and their spouses, if married, regardless of age); and in 1998 for newly added 1924-1930 and 1942-1947 birth cohorts. The HRS includes follow-ups by telephone every second year, with proxy interviews after death. Data are publicly available for each wave of data collection. Data collection for the 2006 wave was underway at the time this catalog was prepared. Also, beginning in 2006, one half of the follow-ups will be conducted face-to-face to permit collection of biological samples and physical performance measures.
Aggregation: The HRS is a longitudinal panel survey (conducted every two years since 1992). Public release cross-sectional data are available for each year of data collection and smaller-scope cross-wave data sets are also publicly available. It is possible to combine the cross-sectional data sets to obtain cross-wave data sets that would contain information not available in the cross-wave data sets that are currently provided. The overall count of members of the AI/AN population, however, will not increase as the same respondents are represented in each wave of data collection, but it may decrease because of attrition or death.
Data Collection Methodology: Most of the interviews are done by telephone, although exceptions are made when respondents have health limitations that would make an hour-long session on the telephone difficult or impossible or when there is no telephone in the household. The preferred mode of data collection was face-to-face for the first wave of data collection and by telephone for subsequent waves.
Participation: Optional, with incentives
Response Rate: The overall unweighted response rate reported for the 2004 wave of data collection was 86.2 percent. Given the complexity of the HRS design, considerable detail on the calculation of response rates across waves is available from http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu/intro/sho_uinfo.php?hfyle=sample_new_v2&xtyp=2#rates.
Sampling Methodology: The HRS sample is selected using a multi-stage area probability sample design. The sample includes four distinct selection stages. The primary stage of sampling involves probability proportionate to size (PPS) selection of U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and non-MSA counties. This stage is followed by a second stage sampling of area segments (secondary sampling units or SSUs) within sampled primary sampling units (PSUs). The third stage of sample selection is preceded by a complete listing (enumeration) of all housing units (HUs) that are physically located within the bounds of the selected SSU. The third sampling stage is a systematic selection of housing units from the HU listings for the sample SSUs. The fourth and final stage in the multi-stage design is the selection of an age-eligible person within a sample HU.
Analysis: Methodological details regarding the survey design of the HRS are available from http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu/docs/sho_refs.php?hfyle=design&xtyp=2.
Strengths: Data are collected on key policy issues including health and the well-being of elders. There are multiple years of data available. Comprehensive documentation is available. There is a low sample attrition rate.
Limitations: There are a small number of AI/AN respondents and NH/PI respondents cannot be separated from Asian respondents.
Access Requirements and Use Restrictions: Data are available to the public at no cost. Detailed race data are only available as restricted-use data. Researchers will need to obtain special permission to access these files, in order to protect confidentiality.
Contact Information: Data can be accessed at: http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu.

Health and Retirement Study
Survey Research Center
Institute for Social Research
University of Michigan
426 Thompson Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone: (734) 936-0314
Fax: (734) 647-1186
Email: hrsquest@isr.umich.edu

 

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