Sensitive and Restricted Data Files

Overview

NHATS has two types of data available to researchers that require approval before files can be accessed: sensitive data and restricted data.

Sensitive data require additional protection beyond what is implemented for public use data. Access to these data requires information about the researcher requesting the data and agreement to observe restrictions on cell sizes in publications and presentations from these data.

Restricted data are data fields or data files that pose additional risks of identifying participants. Access to these data are restricted to qualifying researchers who fulfill the additional requirements for restricted data access.

Sensitive Data Files

The National Study of Caregiving (NSOC) is a study of caregivers to NHATS sample persons. NSOC I was conducted in 2011 and NSOC II was conducted in 2015. Each NSOC data release consists of three files:

  • NSOC file
  • NSOC Sample Person Tracker file
  • NSOC Other Person Tracker file

The NHATS Sample Person (SP) Sensitive Demographic files contain month and year of birth, age in years, month and year of death, age in years at death (beginning in Round 2), types of cancer, race and primary race if more than one race reported for sample persons (at baseline interview), Hispanic subgroup for sample persons (at baseline interview), periods of service as a veteran (at Round 1 and Round 5), month a marriage ended, year or age that the sample person came to live in the USA (at baseline interview), month and year Social Security payments started (at Round 1 and Round 5).

The NHATS Other Person (OP) Sensitive Demographic files contain month and year of birth and age of spouse/partners, children, and household members. The Round 1 file also contains categorical age information for social network members.

Application Process for Sensitive Data Files:

Download and read the document “Obtaining Sensitive Data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study” : CLICK HERE for the document

Complete and sign the required forms from Section IV of the document.

Submit the application forms electronically to nhatsdata@westat.com. Please use the subject heading: Sensitive Data Application

Each application for access to Sensitive data will be reviewed by the NHATS Data Confidentiality Committee. Once approval is granted, you will receive an approval notification email with instructions on how to access and download the sensitive data file(s) from the NHATS website.

Restricted Data Files

Restricted data include information collected by NHATS, such as geographic data, and data linked to NHATS sample person, such as Medicare data.

Geographic Data: City, state, county, and census tract are available at each round for the NHATS Participant. Round 1 geographic data also includes the city and state where the SP was living at the age of 15 and the country of birth if the SP was born outside of the United States. City and state of residence for spouse/partners, children, and household members are available at each round. A file linking the NHATS Sample Person’s residence to the Dartmouth Health Atlas’s Hospital Referral Region (HRR) also is available.

Medicare Data: A retrospective file linked to NHATS participants, which ranges from 2006 or 2009 through 2011, contains Medicare beneficiary and claims data. Annual linked Medicare data is available starting in 2012.

Application Process for Restricted Data Files:

Download and read the document “Obtaining Restricted Data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study” : CLICK HERE for the document

Complete and sign the required forms and documents from Section V of the document.

Submit the application forms electronically to nhatsdata@westat.com. Please use the subject heading: Restricted Data Application

Each application for access to Restricted data will be reviewed by the NHATS Data Confidentiality Committee. Once approval is granted, submit the Data Protection Plan and Research Plan to the Restricted Data Investigator’s Institutional Review Board/Human Subjects Review Committee.

Following IRB/Human Subjects approval at the Restricted Data Investigator’s institution, submit to NHATS the Certification of Human Subjects Review form, which documents certification of the Institutional Review Board/Human Subjects Review Committee and approval of the Data Protection Plan and Research Plan.

If the restricted data being requested are CMS data linked to NHATS, follow the procedures for both NHATS and CMS approval.