Purpose: To assess misclassification in adults reporting childhood asthma.
Methods: The Tasmanian Asthma Survey commenced in 1968 when 8,583 7-year-old children attending school in Tasmania (participants) were studied. In 1991-1993, a stratified sample of 1,494 participants was studied. Their recall of childhood asthma was compared to their parents' prospectively gathered report.
Results: Where participants had childhood asthma, those with current asthma, severe eczema, or hay fever were less likely to misclassify while females were more likely to misclassify. Where participants had no childhood asthma, misclassification was associated with current asthma, hay fever, or allergies.
Conclusions: Retrospective self-assessment of childhood asthma is unreliable.