Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 1703–1708

Probabilistic Linkage of Assisted Reproductive Technology Information with Vital Records, Massachusetts 1997–2000

  • Yujia Zhang
  • Bruce Cohen
  • Maurizio Macaluso
  • Zi Zhang
  • Tonji Durant
  • Angela Nannini
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10995-011-0877-7

Cite this article as:
Zhang, Y., Cohen, B., Macaluso, M. et al. Matern Child Health J (2012) 16: 1703. doi:10.1007/s10995-011-0877-7

Abstract

To assess the validity of probabilistic linkage (PL) in combining national surveillance data on assisted reproductive technology (ART) with Massachusetts birth and infant death data, for the purpose of monitoring maternal and child health outcomes of ART. A study conducted in 2006 utilized direct identifiers to match Massachusetts birth records with records on ART procedures performed to Massachusetts residents in fertility clinics located in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, achieving a linkage rate of 87.5%. The present study employed PL using the program Link Plus, without access to direct identifiers. The primary linking variables were maternal and infant dates of birth, and plurality. Ancillary variables such as maternal ZIP code and gravidity helped resolve duplicate matches and capture additional matches. PL linked 5,390 (87.8%) of 6,139 deliveries, correctly identifying 96.4% of the matches previously obtained using deterministic linkage methods. PL yielded a high linkage rate with satisfactory validity; this method may be applied in other states to help monitor the maternal and child health outcomes of ART.

Keywords

Assisted reproductive technologyBirth-infant death fileProbabilistic linkage

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (Outside the USA) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yujia Zhang
    • 1
  • Bruce Cohen
    • 2
  • Maurizio Macaluso
    • 1
    • 6
  • Zi Zhang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Tonji Durant
    • 1
    • 4
  • Angela Nannini
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Reproductive HealthCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Massachusetts Department of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.University of Massachusetts Medical SchoolShrewsburyUSA
  4. 4.Division of HIV/AIDS PreventionCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  5. 5.University of MassachusettsLowellUSA
  6. 6.Division of Biostatistics and EpidemiologyCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA