Asking the age question in elderly populations: A reverse record check study

Johannes H. Smit*, Dorly J.H. Deeg, Ben A. Schmand

*Corresponding author for this work

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In two large-scale surveys among elderly respondents we evaluated the accuracy of answers obtained to three differently formulated age questions. Respondents included 6,149 individuals aged 65-86 living in The Netherlands. Because criterion age data were available from different sources, it was possible to compare the respondent's reported age with his or her actual age. Refusal rates were low for all three questions. Both age and cognitive capabilities influenced accuracy of the answers to the age questions. The results indicated that the mast accurate data were obtained with the question, 'What is your date of birth ?' in combination with interview date.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)P175-P177
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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