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National Long Term Care Survey (NLTCS)

"The National Long-Term Care Survey is a longitudinal survey designed to study changes in the health and functional status of older Americans (aged 65+). It also tracks health expenditures, Medicare service use, and the availability of personal, family, and community resources for caregiving. The NLTCS survey population consists of a sample of 35,789 people drawn from national Medicare enrollment files in 1982 that has been augmented with subsequent samples of approximately 20,000 Medicare enrollees obtained by adding 5,000 people passing age 65 between successive surveys done approximately every five years. This technique ensures a large, nationally-representative sample at each point in time. Both elderly in the community (including those not impaired) and those residing in institutions are represented in the samples." (https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/resource/national-long-term-care-survey-nltcs)

Additional Information

  • Principal Investigator(s)
  • Kenneth Manton, Duke University
  • Richard Kulka, Duke University
  • Partner Organization Affiliation
  • Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • Grant No.
  • R01AG046860
  • Partnered with MedRIC In
  • 2017

Cohort Size

Information icon.


Partner Data Categories


These data categories provide a MedRIC overview of the data in NLTCS's data documentation, not an exhaustive catalog. As such, the partner's dataset may contain additional information not presented in this list.
  • Demographic and Familial Characteristics
  • Age, Race, Sex
  • Functional Capacities
  • Cognitive Functions, Physical Capacities
  • Health Circumstances
  • Healthcare Utilization, Long-Term Care Services
  • Psychosocial and Lifestyle Factors
  • Community, Neighborhood
  • Wealth and Employment Histories
  • Costs of Health Care Services, Income

CMS Files Available to Request?

Not Yet


CMS File Type

Encryption Level (Standard, Geographic, and/or Provider)


Denominator (DN) Research Files



Parts A & B Research Files (except Carrier (PB) Research Files, which are restricted to 1991-1992 data years)