Validation of Long-Term Recall of Pregnancy-related Weight in the Life-course Experiences and Pregnancy Study

Kriszta Farkas, Lisa M. Bodnar, Rebecca L. Emery Tavernier, Jessica K. Friedman, Sydney T. Johnson, Richard F. Maclehose, Susan M. Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG) are determinants of maternal and child health. However, many studies of these factors rely on error-prone self-reported measures. Methods: Using data from Life-course Experiences And Pregnancy (LEAP), a US-based cohort, we assessed the validity of prepregnancy BMI and GWG recalled on average 8 years postpartum against medical record data treated as alloyed gold standard ("true") values. We calculated probabilities of being classified into a self-reported prepregnancy BMI or GWG category conditional on one's true category (analogous to sensitivities and specificities) and probabilities of truly being in each prepregnancy BMI or GWG category conditional on one's self-reported category (analogous to positive and negative predictive values). Results: There was a tendency toward under-reporting prepregnancy BMI. Self-report misclassified 32% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 19%, 48%) of those in LEAP with truly overweight and 13% (5%, 27%) with obesity into a lower BMI category. Self-report correctly predicted the truth for 72% (55%, 84%) with self-reported overweight to 100% (90%, 100%) with self-reported obesity. For GWG, both under-and over-reporting were common; self-report misclassified 32% (15%, 55%) with truly low GWG as having moderate GWG and 50% (28%, 72%) with truly high GWG as moderate or low GWG. Self-report correctly predicted the truth for 45% (25%, 67%) with self-reported high GWG to 85% (76%, 91%) with self-reported moderate GWG. Misclassification of BMI and GWG varied across maternal characteristics. Conclusion: Findings can be used in quantitative bias analyses to estimate bias-Adjusted associations with prepregnancy BMI and GWG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-498
Number of pages10
JournalEpidemiology
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2024 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Gestational weight gain
  • Pregnancy
  • Prepregnancy weight
  • Validation

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