Summary health statistics for U.S. adults: national health interview survey, 2012

Vital Health Stat 10. 2014 Feb;(260):1-161.


Objectives: This report presents detailed tables from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for the civilian noninstitutionalized adult population, classified by sex, age, race and Hispanic origin, education, current employment status, family income, poverty status, health insurance coverage, marital status, and place and region of residence. Estimates (frequencies and percentages) are presented for selected chronic conditions and mental health characteristics, functional limitations, health status, health behaviors, health care access and utilization, and human immunodeficiency virus testing. Percentages and percent distributions are presented in both age-adjusted and unadjusted versions.

Data source: NHIS is a household, multistage probability sample survey conducted annually by interviewers of the U.S. Census Bureau for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. In 2012, data were collected on 34,525 adults in the Sample Adult questionnaire. The conditional response rate was 79.7%, and the final response rate was 61.2%. The health information for adults in this report was obtained from one randomly selected adult per family.

Highlights: In 2012, 61% of adults aged 18 and over had excellent or very good health. Eleven percent of adults had been told by a doctor or other health professional that they had heart disease, 24% had been told on two or more visits that they had hypertension, 9% had been told that they had diabetes, and 21% had been told that they had some for of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia. Eighteen percent of adults were current smokers and 21% were former smokers. Based on estimates of body mass index, 35% of adults were overweight and 28% were obese.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • National Center for Health Statistics, U.S.
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult