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. 2018 Dec 10;11(1):878.
doi: 10.1186/s13104-018-3977-2.

Reliability of Birth Weight Recall by Parent or Guardian Respondents in a Study of Healthy Adolescents

Free PMC article

Reliability of Birth Weight Recall by Parent or Guardian Respondents in a Study of Healthy Adolescents

Zeinab Kassem et al. BMC Res Notes. .
Free PMC article


Objective: Birth weight, which can be an indicator for risk of chronic diseases throughout the lifespan, is one of the most commonly used measures in the study of developmental origins of health and disease. There is limited information on the reliability of parent/guardian reported birth weight by race or by respondent type (i.e., mother, father, other caregiver).

Results: Birth weight was reported by a respondent for 309 of the 333 (92.8%) study participants; of these, chart obtained birth weight was available for 236 (76.4%). There was good agreement between respondent report and chart obtained birth weight. Over half (N = 145, 61.4%) of respondents reported a birth weight within ± 100 g of what was in the chart; 60.9% of black participants (n = 81) and 62.1% of white participants (n = 64) fell within 100 g. Overall, mothers were 3.31 (95% CI 1.18, 9.33) times more likely than fathers to correctly recall the child's birthweight within ± 100 g (p = 0.023). Respondent reported birth weight is a reliable alternative to chart obtained birth weight. Mothers were found to be most accurate in reporting birth weight of the child. Race/ethnicity was not significantly associated with reliability of birth weight reporting.

Keywords: Birth weight; Developmental origins of health and disease; Race; Reliability; Self-report.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Graphs comparing respondent reported birth weight vs chart obtained birth weight. a Bland–Altman plot displaying differences between respondents reported birth weight and actual birth weight of the adolescents versus the mean of the respondents self-reported and actual birth weights of the adolescent; 95% limits of agreement are the dashed lines and the regression line is the solid black line. b Scatterplot of chart obtained birth weight compared to respondent reported birth weight

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