European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 19, Issue 9, pp 841–849 | Cite as

Influence of Asthma on the Validity of Reported Lifelong Environmental Tobacco Smoke in the EGEA Study

  • Valérie Siroux
  • Philippe Guilbert
  • Nicole Le Moual
  • Marie-Pierre Oryszczyn
  • Francine KauffmannEmail author


The aim of this study was to assess the short-term reproducibility and the validity of reported ETS (environmental tobacco smoke) exposure, with a special emphasis on the potential misclassification related to personal or family history of asthma. Analyses were based on the data on the Epidemiological study on the Genetics and Environment of Asthma, bronchial hyperresponsiveness and atopy (EGEA), a case-control study of asthma that included first degree relatives of asthmatic cases. The study was comprised of 348 families of asthmatics recruited in six chest clinics throughout France and 416 population-based controls. For studying the validity of ETS reports, personal active smoking histories reported by family members were taken as reference. The reproducibility of ETS exposure report was good, and independent of asthma. The validity of the report of maternal and paternal smoking in childhood and spouse smoking during life was high (overall agreement ≥84%). Mothers of asthmatic children significantly underreported their smoking habits when questioned on their children's passive tobacco exposure. Offspring of parents who had stopped smoking underestimated their ETS exposure in childhood. In conclusion, interviews with mothers on their personal active smoking habits may provide a more accurate estimate of their asthmatic child's passive exposure than asking mothers specifically about their children's passive exposure. There was no indication that asthma status (either of the parent/spouse or of the respondent) by itself influences the report of ETS exposure during childhood or adulthood.

Asthma Passive smoking and Validity 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valérie Siroux
    • 1
    • 2
  • Philippe Guilbert
    • 1
  • Nicole Le Moual
    • 1
  • Marie-Pierre Oryszczyn
    • 1
  • Francine Kauffmann
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Epidemiology and BiostatisticsINSERM U472-IFR69VillejuifFrance
  2. 2.Département de Médecine Aiguë SpécialiséeCHUGrenobleFrance

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