Data on prior pesticide use collected from self- and proxy respondents

Rebecca A. Johnson, Jack S. Mandel, Robert W. Gibson, Jeffrey H. Mandel, Alan P. Bender, Paul D. Gunderson, Colleen M. Renier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Proxy respondents have often been used in case-control studies of cancer and pesticides. To evaluate the effect of exposure misclassification, we compared data collected during 1981–1983 from participants interviewed for a case-control study of leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma with data collected during 1990–1991 from proxy respondents for participants who died or became incompetent since the initial interview (328 self-proxy pairs). As questions increased in detail, agreement percentages decreased. Agreement percentages were highest for demographic and general farming information (averages = 88–90%) and lowest for specific pesticide use (averages = 68–74%). Generally, odds ratios calculated from proxy respondent data were less than those from self-respondent data; however, several exceptions occurred. The findings indicate that pesticide data provided by proxy respondents will not necessarily result in the same estimate of risk and/or lead to the same conclusions as data provided by self-respondents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1993


  • Data collection
  • Epidemiologic methods
  • Interviews
  • Neoplasms
  • Pesticides
  • Proxy respondents


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