Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health

Age in Years Variable (R0wR_x_AGE) Not Found in Public Use Files - Where can I find it? Tips for Using the PATH Study Data User Forum

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Age in Years Variable (R0wR_x_AGE) Not Found in Public Use Files - Where can I find it?

Hi There:

Although both the Public Use and Restricted Use Guide for the datasets indicate that an exact age variable is calculated and represented in the variable R0wR_x_AGE in the data sets, I can only see the categorical age variable in the public use data set files. 

I am interested in following young adults (18-20 yo) from Wave 1 through subsequent waves (i.e., so they remain young adults; ≤ 24 yo), however, I need to know their exact age in years or birthdate to do so. Is the above variable (R0WR_x_AGE) in which the exact age of the participant at the interview date only provided in the restricted use file? 

I tried to link the files and then only include individuals who were in the category 18-24 at each wave, but ended up with an N = 0, which is inconsistent with other publications I have read who used similar analyses (e.g., Stanton et al., 2020). 

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated! Thank you. 

In order to know the exact

In order to know the exact age of respondents in years you'll need to request access to the PATH Restricted Use Files (RUF). The exact age is not provided in the Public Use Files (PUF). Alternatively, you could restrict analyses for adults across waves who at Wave 1 were 18-24 years and did not change from that category in subsequent waves. Hope this helps.

Joy Jang



This is Joy Jang from NAHDAP. 

bjfairman is correct. The exact age variable is only available in Restricted-Use Files (RUF). You can apply for access to the RUF via the Virtual Data Enclave (VDE) Restricted Data Use Agreement (RDUA) application system available on the PATH Study RUF study home page

Alternatively (similar to bjfairman's suggestion), you may look into youth (12-17 years old), young adults (18-24 years old), and adults (25+ years old) samples at each wave and include those who remain in young adults group and/or those who transition from youth to young adults across waves. I understand that it was Stanton et al. (2020)'s sample selection approach where cross-sectional data of PATH Study PUF W1-W3 were used.  

Hope this helps!




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