Hispanic NHANES Data Initiative: Request for feedback

James McNally jmcnally at icpsr.umich.edu
Mon Mar 13 10:37:36 EST 2000

The National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA) is seeking
feedback from the research community on the potential value of an data
initiative that NACDA has been discussing with the National Center for
Health Statistics (NCHS).  In brief, we are interested in creating an
analysis file that would link the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination
Survey, (HISPANIC NHANES 1982-1984) to the National Death Index Files and
to make this file available to the research community.  As you may be
aware, the HHANES examined the nutritional practices and physical health of
over 11,000 Hispanic persons between 6 months and 74 years of age.  Three
groups were surveyed: Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, and Puerto Rican
Americans.  While there was no re-interview of these subjects, NACDA is
interested in identifying mortality among survey respondents. Our Resident
Scientist, Kenneth Ferraro, has argued that this linked analysis file would
provide a valuable resource for researchers interested in the impacts of
health and socioeconomic status on mortality outcomes among Hispanic

Interested parties are directed to our website:
http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/NACDA where they can access Study Number 8535 to
review data and documentation for the Hispanic Health and Nutrition
Examination Survey, 1982-1984.  This is the public release version of the
data set without NDI links which NACDA has made freely available to the
research community for direct download.

Overall, the response from NCHS to the proposed NDI linkage has been
favorable but there are cost concerns that must be resolved.  Linking
Hispanic NHANES to the NDI is possible but the composition of the file
presents special challenges to obtaining successful matches.
Consequently, NACDA has been asked to assess the perceived value of this
linked file to the research community so that we can justify a funding
request to have this file created and distributed.  We are soliciting
opinions on this matter so we can report to NCHS and NIA whether or not
such a project has potential value to researchers with an ongoing interest
in minority issues.  

As we recognize the value of your time, we are asking two simple questions
at present:

1) Would you argue that a file that links the Hispanic NHANES to mortality
data from the NDI as represents a valuable addition to existing resources
on minority research? 

2) If NACDA were to make such a file publicly available, is this linked
file something you would use for grant development and publications?

Your response to these questions, no matter how brief, would greatly help
us evaluate the potential costs and benefits of such a project to the
research community.  If you feel that it might represent a valuable
addition then we can make a more convincing argument for support for this
initiative.  If not, then we can focus our energies in other more
productive arenas. 

Thank you so much for your interest and support.

James W. McNally
Director, National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging
ISR, University of Michigan

Kenneth F. Ferraro
Resident Scientist, National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging
Professor of Sociology and Director, Gerontology Program, Purdue University

"The National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), located
within ICPSR, is funded by the National Institute on Aging. NACDA's 
mission is to advance research on aging by helping researchers to profit from 
the under-exploited potential of a broad range of datasets. NACDA acquires 
and preserves data relevant to gerontological research, processing as needed 
to promote effective research use, disseminates them to researchers, and 
facilitates their use. By preserving and making available the U.S.'s largest 
library of electronic data on aging, NACDA offers opportunities for research 
on major issues of scientific and policy relevance."


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