National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

NHANES III (1988-1994)


The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, NHANES III, was a nationwide probability sample of 39,695 persons aged 2 months and older. It was conducted from 1988-1994 in two phases. Phase 1 (1988-1991) and Phase 2 (1991-1994) were each nationally representative samples as well as the combined six years. In the six-year sample, 33,994 sample persons were interviewed and 30,818 people were examined, resulting in an overall examined response rate of 78 percent. Children ages two months to five years, persons 60 years and older, Mexican-American persons, and non-Hispanic black persons were sampled at rates substantially higher than their proportions in the general population.

Data release files from NHANES III are organized into three categories. The first group of files were the original or core content of the survey. The second group of files were augmented data files or special data files created at a later date from the core content of the survey. The third group of files were completed in later years and are the result of approved projects that used surplus sera specimens from the survey participants.

Contents in Detail

Description Documentation
Historic NHANES Contents Matrix [PDF - 589 KB]
Reference Manuals and Report

Using the Data

Description Documentation
Survey Methods and Analytic Guidelines
NHANES III Public Use Data Files Errata
Serum Latex Allergy (IgE) Data Analysis Issues
Serum Biochemistry Profile - Erratum on laboratory method [PDF - 13 KB]
Analytic Notes for Vitamin D
Response Rates and Population Totals
Continuous NHANES Web Tutorials

Data, Documentation, Codebooks, SAS Code

Description Data Documentation
Growth Charts (November, 2012) [XPT - 8.2 KB] HTML Documentation
Core Data
Augmented Data and Special Studies
Surplus Sera Data
Limited Access Data