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Epidemiology. 1997 Mar;8(2):202-4.

Educational achievement recorded on certificates of death compared with self-report.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.


This study reports the agreement of educational achievement obtained from death certificates with self-report among 249 persons. Education was categorized as: less than high school, high school education, and greater than high school education. The overall agreement rate was 84%. Death certificates provided a slight underestimation of educational achievement. The sensitivity and specificity of the death certificate in classifying a decedent as having less than a high school education were both 90%. Educational achievement determined from death certificates has substantial validity, and any misclassification that may occur is likely to be similar across ethnicity and gender groups.

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