Self-reported data on reproductive variables were reliable among postmenopausal women

J Clin Epidemiol. 2008 Sep;61(9):945-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2007.11.001. Epub 2008 May 12.


Objective: We aimed to assess the reliability of self-reported reproductive variables in postmenopausal women.

Study design and setting: We evaluated 535 women in two interviews, as part of the recruitment and first follow-up of a cohort of Portuguese adults. Median time between evaluations was 5 years. Women were inquired about sociodemographic characteristics, cognitive status, and reproductive history: gravidity, parity, lifetime use of oral contraceptives, menopausal status, age at menopause, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and lifetime use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Results: Age at menopause was consistent within 1 year for 66% of women and agreement was higher in women reporting surgical menopause. Reliability regarding age at menopause decreased with time since menopause. Gravidity was consistent for 81% of women, whereas parity was consistent for 94%. The proportion of different answers regarding number of pregnancies and number of live births was higher in women with high gravidity and parity, respectively. Agreement was 96% for hysterectomy and 92% for oophorectomy. The proportion of consistent reports was 90% for oral contraceptives and 93% for HRT. Women with higher education reported parity and HRT more reliably.

Conclusion: Agreement was over 90% for self-reported parity, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and HRT, which supports their use in analytical studies.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contraceptives, Oral / therapeutic use
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Menopause / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause / physiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive History*
  • Research Design
  • Self Disclosure


  • Contraceptives, Oral