Agreement between self-reported and registered age at asthma diagnosis in Finland

Elias Nurmi, Iida Vähätalo, Pinja Ilmarinen, Heidi Andersén, Leena E Tuomisto, Anssi Sovijärvi, Helena Backman, Lauri Lehtimäki, Linnea Hedman, Arnulf Langhammer, Bright I Nwaru, Päivi Piirilä, Hannu Kankaanranta

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: In epidemiological studies, the age at asthma onset is often defined by patients' self-reported age at diagnosis. The reliability of this report might be questioned. Our objective was to evaluate the agreement between self-reported and registered age at asthma diagnosis and assess features contributing to the agreement.

METHODS: As part of the FinEsS respiratory survey in 2016, randomly selected population samples of 13,435 from Helsinki and 8000 from Western Finland were studied. Self-reported age at asthma diagnosis was compared to age at asthma diagnosis registered in the Finnish register on special reimbursement for asthma medication. The reimbursement right is based on lung function criteria according to GINA and Finnish guidelines. If the difference was less than 5 years, self-reported diagnosis was considered reliable. Features associated with the difference between self-reported and registered age at asthma diagnosis were evaluated.

RESULTS: Altogether 197 subjects from Helsinki and 144 from Western Finland were included. Of these, 61.9% and 77.8%, respectively, reported age at diagnosis reliably. Median difference between self-reported and registered age at diagnoses was - 2.0 years (IQR - 9.0 to 0) in Helsinki and - 1.0 (IQR - 4.3 to 0) in Western Finland indicating earlier self-reported age at diagnosis. More reliable self-report was associated with non-allergic subjects and subjects who reported having asthma diagnosis more recently.

CONCLUSIONS: Agreement between self-reported and registered age at asthma diagnosis was good especially with adult-onset asthma patients. Poor agreement in early-onset asthma could be related to delay in registration due to reimbursement criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133
Number of pages12
JournalBmc Pulmonary Medicine
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2024
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Self Report
  • Finland/epidemiology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Prevalence
  • Asthma/diagnosis

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

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