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Am J Epidemiol. 1994 Apr 15;139(8):813-8.

Comparing self-reported and physician-reported medical history.

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Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of New York at Stony Brook 11794-8036.


The authors compared self-reported medical history and medication use in a cataract case-control study of 1,380 persons (1985-1989) in Boston, Massachusetts, with information from the participants' physicians. Under- and overreporting varied by condition and type of medication. A self-reported history of hypertension had the highest sensitivity (91%), and diabetes history had the highest specificity (97%). Among different medications investigated, self-reported antihypertensive medication use was the most sensitive (88%), while self-reported use of insulin was the most specific (99%). Differences between patient- and physician-reported frequencies were very small, except for arthritis (15%) and regular aspirin use (21%). Results suggest an accurate recall of medical and drug usage history in well-defined chronic conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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