Reliability of information on cigarette smoking and beverage consumption provided by hospital controls

Epidemiology. 1996 May;7(3):312-5. doi: 10.1097/00001648-199605000-00018.


We compared data from interviews of patients admitted to hospital and interviews repeated at home for 400 hospital controls. Of these, 294 (73.5%) could be re-interviewed (responders). Never smoking was reported by 44% of subjects in the in-hospital interviews and by 40% in the repeat at-home interviews. Among those interviewed in hospital, 38% claimed to be nondrinkers, as did 38% of responders, but only 28% characterized themselves as nondrinkers in the repeat interview. For consumption of regular coffee, 15% reported none in the selected sample, 14% among responders, but only 6% in the repeat at-home interview. Agreement was good for decaffeinated coffee and tea consumption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coffee*
  • Data Collection*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Tea*


  • Coffee
  • Tea