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Accuracy of self-reported family history is strongly influenced by the accuracy of self-reported personal health status of relatives

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Author: Janssens, A.C.J.W. · Henneman, L. · Detmar, S.B. · Khoury, M.J. · Steyerberg, E.W. · Eijkemans, M.J.C. · Mushkudiani, N. · Oostra, B.A. · Duijn, C.M. van · MacKenbach, J.P.
Type:article
Date:2012
Source:Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 1, 65, 82-89
Identifier: 445668
doi: doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2011.05.003
Keywords: Health · Accuracy · Diabetes · Family history · Hypertension · Obesity · Self-report assessment · antidiabetic agent · antihypertensive agent · glucose · accuracy · adult · article · awareness · blood pressure measurement · body height · body mass · body weight · clinical assessment · controlled study · diabetes mellitus · diastolic blood pressure · family history · female · glucose blood level · health status · human · hypertension · major clinical study · male · obesity · physician · priority journal · questionnaire · relative · risk assessment · self report · sensitivity and specificity · systolic blood pressure · Healthy Living · Healthy Living · HL - Healthy for Life · Themalijn

Abstract

Objective: We investigated the accuracy of self-reported family history for diabetes, hypertension, and overweight against two reference standards: family history based on physician-assessed health status of relatives and on self-reported personal health status of relatives. Study Design and Setting: Subjects were participants from the Erasmus Rucphen Family study, an extended family study among descendants of 20 couples who lived between 1850 and 1900 in a southwest region of the Netherlands and their relatives (n = 1,713). Sensitivity and specificity of self-reported family history were calculated. Results: Sensitivity of self-reported family history was 89.2% for diabetes, 92.2% for hypertension, and 78.4% for overweight when family history based on relatives' self-reported personal health status was used as reference and 70.8% for diabetes, 67.4% for hypertension, and 77.3% for overweight when physician-assessed health status of relatives was used. Sensitivity and specificity of self-reported personal health status were 76.8% and 98.8% for diabetes, 38.9% and 98.0% for hypertension, and 80.9% and 75.7% for overweight, respectively. Conclusion: The accuracy of self-reported family history of diabetes and hypertension is strongly influenced by the accuracy of self-reported personal health status of relatives. Raising awareness of personal health status is crucial to ensure the utility of family history for the assessment of risk and disease prevention. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.