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    Evaluation of Cause of Deaths' Validity Using Outcome Measures from a Prospective, Population Based Cohort Study in Tehran, Iran

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    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity of cause of death stated in death certificates in Tehran using outcome measures of the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study (TLGS), an ongoing prospective cohort study. METHODS: The cohort was established in 1999 in a population of 15005 people, 3 years old and over, living in Tehran; 3551 individuals were added to this population three years later. As part of cohort's outcome measures, deaths occurring in the cohort are investigated by a panel of medical specialists (Cohort Outcome Panel--COP) and underlying cause of death is determined for each death. The cause of death assigned in a deceased's original death certificate was evaluated against the cause of death determined by COP and sensitivity and positive predictive values (PPV) were determined. In addition, determinants of assigning accurate underlying cause of death were determined using logistic regression model. RESULT: A total of 231 death certificates were evaluated. The original death certificates over reported deaths due to neoplasms and underreported death due to circulatory system and transport accidents. Neoplasms with sensitivity of 0.91 and PPV of 0.71 were the most valid category. The disease of circulatory system showed moderate degree of validity with sensitivity of 0.67 and PPV of 0.78. The result of logistic regression indicated if the death certificate is issued by a general practitioner, there is 2.3 (95% CI 1.1, 5.1) times chance of being misclassified compared with when it is issued by a specialist. If the deceased is more than 60 years, the chance of misclassification would be 2.5 times (95% CI of 1.1, 5.9) compared with when the deceased is less than 60 years