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1. This paper is intended as a guide for users undertaking comparisons of long-term health conditions across the National Health Surveys (NHS) of 1989-90, 1995 and 2001. Estimates and standardised rates are presented from each survey for a range of long-term conditions. In some instances, there has been some change over time in the wording of questions or associated inclusions, exclusions and prompts, which may influence the level of response. To assist in understanding whether this may be a factor, questions and other notes on the questionnaire are included. From both the trend in condition prevalence and the questionnaire differences, a provisional assessment of the reliability of the time series is given for each selected condition. This information can be used to help inform decisions on the suitability of particular health conditions for time-series applications. This paper is intended for use as an indicative guide rather than as a definitive explanation of the time series.