Background: Estimating a person's history of occupational exposure in case-control studies is difficult.
Methods: Percent agreement between selected self-reported occupational exposures and job-exposure matrix (JEM) exposure assessment for all participants and various subgroups of a population-based case-control interview study of 486 leukemia subjects and 502 healthy controls in Shanghai was evaluated.
Results: With JEM as the "gold standard," the sensitivities for self-reported exposures ranged from 0.75 to 0.98. However, that for pesticide exposure was 0.44 in subjects >51 years old. Self-reported exposures specificities ranged from 0.87 to 0.99. Agreement between self-reported exposures and JEM assessment was good (kappa coefficients [kappa]: 0.48-0.84). Variations in agreement for benzene exposure between males and females as well as between the direct interview and surrogate interview subgroups were observed.
Conclusions: The levels of agreement between self-report and JEM in this study suggest that self-reported exposures are a suitable method for assessing occupational exposures in this population.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.