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Ethn Dis. 2008 Autumn;18(4):415-20.

Self-reported and measured height and weight: impact on racial/ethnic differences in hypertension.

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Institute of Public Health, College of Health and Human Sciences, Georgia State University, PO Box 3995, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA.



We compare estimability of obesity from self-reported and measured height and weight in White, Black, and Hispanic Americans. We also sought to determine the effect of using self-reported and measured height and weight in determining the association of obesity with risk of hypertension in these population groups.


The 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999-2000) participants' (n=4789) self-reported and measured height and weight were used for this study. Logistic regression adjusted for age, blood glucose level, total cholesterol level, smoking status, and exercise status to compare the association of obesity estimated from self-reported and measured height and weight on the prevalence odds of hypertension.


Men tended to overestimate height and weight, and women tended to overestimate height and underestimate weight. Using self-reported values diminished the prevalence of obesity and odds of hypertension, and this effect related to ethnicity and sex. In men, self-report decreased the prevalence of hypertension by 9.1%, 11.8%, and 26.6% in Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics, respectively. The analogous values in women were 11.1%, 22.7%, and 7.7%.


Public health researchers and practitioners who use self-reported height and weight should be aware of the potential for error when using self-reported values to estimate obesity so that they may make better decisions regarding obesity screening and prevention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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