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Validity of age at menarche self-reported in adulthood

Cooper, R; Blell, M; Hardy, R; Black, S; Pollard, TM; Wadsworth, MEJ; Pearce, MS; (2006) Validity of age at menarche self-reported in adulthood. J EPIDEMIOL COMMUN H , 60 (11) 993 - 997. 10.1136/jech.2005.043182. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: To test the validity of age at menarche self-reported in adulthood and examine whether socioeconomic position, education, experience of gynaecological events and psychological symptoms influence the accuracy of recall.Design: Prospective birth cohort study.Setting: England, Scotland and Wales.Participants: 1050 women from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development, with two measures of age at menarche, one recorded in adolescence and the other self-reported at age 48 years.Results: By calculating the limits of agreement, kappa statistic and Pearson's correlation coefficients (r), we found that the validity of age at menarche self-reported in middle age compared with that recorded in adolescence was moderate (kappa = 0.35, r = 0.66, n = 1050). Validity was improved by categorising age at menarche into three groups: early, normal and late (kappa = 0.43). Agreement was influenced by educational level and having had a stillbirth or miscarriage.Conclusions: The level of validity shown in this study throws some doubt on whether it is justifiable to use age at menarche self-reported in middle age. It is likely to introduce error and bias, and researchers should be aware of these limitations and use such measures with caution.

Type: Article
Title: Validity of age at menarche self-reported in adulthood
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/jech.2005.043182
Publisher version: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC24654...
Keywords: NATIONAL BIRTH COHORT, BODY-SIZE, RECALLED AGE, ACCURACY, HEALTH, WOMEN, RISK
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2731
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