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J Clin Epidemiol. 2010 Aug;63(8):932-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2009.10.010. Epub 2010 Mar 2.

Medical record validation of maternally reported history of preeclampsia.

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  • 1The Generation R Study Group, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



In this study, we assessed the validity of maternally self-reported history of preeclampsia.


This study was embedded in the Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort study. Data were obtained from prenatal questionnaires and one questionnaire obtained 2 months postpartum from the mother. All women who delivered in hospital and returned a 2-month postpartum questionnaire (n = 4,330) were selected.


Of the 4,330 women, 76 out of 152 (50%) women who self-reported preeclampsia appeared not to have had the disease according to the definition (International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy). From the women who self-reported not to have experienced preeclampsia, 11 out of 4,178 (0.3%) had suffered from preeclampsia. Sensitivity and specificity were 0.87 and 0.98, respectively. Higher maternal education level and parity were associated with a better self-reported diagnosis of preeclampsia.


The validity of maternal-recall self-reported preeclampsia is moderate. The reduced self-reported preeclampsia might suggest a lack of accuracy in patient-doctor communication with regard to the diagnostic criteria of the disease. Therefore, doctors have to pay attention to make sure that women understand the nature of preeclampsia.

Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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