Problems finding some variables via search?

I’ve had a hard time finding the AHCSY1_2 variable (see source 2018 NHIS Sample Adult Questionnaire ( in the NHIS IPUMS files:

DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, have you seen or talked to any of the following health care providers about your own health?
…An optometrist, ophthalmologist (AHF-thal-MOL-oh-jist), or eye doctor (someone who prescribes eyeglasses)

None of the searches for eye* / opto* / opht* produced that variable. I finally found it as SAWEYEDR under the Medical Care category. I was hoping it would have been easier to find through search.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Because of the large number of variables in the IPUMS NHIS database, our search tool does not automatically include text in the variable descriptions (though you can optionally specify to search these as well); I was able to uncover this variable using your search criteria when I also searched the variable descriptions. That being said, I would expect a search for “eye*” to have flagged this variable even without searching variable descriptions. I have a request out to our IT group to ensure there isn’t a bug in the search tool.

Note that we also offer a concordance tool to help users identify the IPUMS NHIS equivalents of the original NCHS variable mnemonics.

Thanks, @KariWilliams. I think I used the “Description” field, too, but I am not 100% sure. I was not aware of the concordance tool – thanks for pointing it out!

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