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Validity of self-reported diabetes in health interview surveys for measuring social inequalities in the prevalence of diabetes
  1. Albert Espelt1,2,3,
  2. Alberto Goday4,
  3. Josep Franch5,
  4. Carme Borrell1,2,3,4
  1. 1Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2Universitat Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain
  4. 4Servei d'Endocrinologia i Nutricio, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  5. 5Medicina Atención Primaria, EAP Raval Sud (Barcelona), RedGEDAPS SL, Barcelona, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Albert Espelt, Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, Plaça Lesseps 1, Barcelona 08023, Spain; aespelt{at}


Background To analyse the validity of diabetes declarations in a health interview survey in order to evaluate the appropriateness of using health interview surveys to understand the relationship between diabetes and social groups.

Methods People with self-reported diabetes are those who report to have diabetes in the health survey. People with diabetes (gold standard) are those who were identified with fasting blood glucose level ≥126 mg/dl or those who were treated with oral antidiabetic drugs or insulin. Independent variables were educational level, social class and gender. The authors calculated sensitivity, specificity and κ coefficient.

Results The majority of indicators for evaluating the adequacy of using health interviews surveys to analyse inequalities in self-reported diabetes by social groups are good. The worst indicator was sensitivity, although it did not vary according to social groups.

Conclusion Health surveys are a good instrument to evaluate the social inequalities in the prevalence of diabetes.

  • Diabetes DI
  • inequalities SI

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  • This article forms part of the doctoral dissertation of Albert Espelt at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Departament de Salut de Catalunya.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.