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Epidemiology. 1998 Sep;9(5):567-9.

Measurement error from assessing use of vitamin supplements at one point in time.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98109-1024, USA.


Although many epidemiologic studies ask about current use of vitamin supplements, long-term use is usually the exposure of etiologic interest. We conducted a mailed survey to investigate the relation between current and long-term (10-year) supplement use (N = 325 adults). Estimates of current daily intake for supplemental micronutrients were roughly twice that of average daily intake over the past 10 years. Correlations between current intake and long-term intake from supplements alone were 0.77, 0.75, and 0.65 for vitamin C, vitamin E, and calcium, respectively. A measure of supplement use at one point in time incorporates measurement error that will attenuate measures of association.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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