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Ann Epidemiol. 2001 Apr;11(3):186-93.

Validation of birth certificate data. A study of women in New Jersey's HealthStart program.

Author information

1
Office of Population Research, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544-2091, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study assesses the accuracy of 1989-1992 birth certificate data from New Jersey for a group of high-risk women.

METHODS:

Birth records were linked to data on women who participated in HealthStart, a program of enriched prenatal care for pregnant women on Medicaid. Concordance was assessed for all variables common to the two data sets.

RESULTS:

The birth records had accurate reporting of birth-weight, demographic characteristics, and most methods of delivery. Prenatal care use was over-reported, and alcohol, tobacco, transfer status, medical risk factors, obstetric procedures, as well as complications of labor and delivery were underreported.

CONCLUSIONS:

While many variables are reported very accurately on birth certificates, other measures must be used cautiously. Analyses using birth certificate data, particularly those focusing on high-risk women, need to take the low levels of sensitivity for many risk factors into consideration.

PMID:
11248582
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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