Reliability of self-reported diagnostic radiation history in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers

Anouk Pijpe, Peggy Manders, Renee L. Mulder, Flora E. van Leeuwen, Matti A. Rookus*

*Corresponding author for this work

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We assessed reliability of self-reported diagnostic radiation history in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers with and without breast cancer. Within the frame-work of the HEBON study, 401 BRCA1/2 mutation carriers completed a baseline (1999-2004) and a follow-up questionnaire (2006-2007). Test-retest reliability of self-reported exposure to chest X-rays, fluoroscopies and mammograms was assessed for the entire study population and by case status.Overall proportion agreement on reporting ever/never exposure was good ([75%), while the corresponding kappa coefficients were between 0.40 and 0.75, indicating at least moderate reliability beyond chance. Reliability of number of exposures was also good ([75%). Proportion agreement on reporting age at first mammogram was low(40%) for exact consistency and moderate (60%) for consistency +/- 1 year. Reliability of age at first mammogram was higher for cases than for unaffected carriers(P\0.001) but this difference disappeared when excluding diagnostic mammograms (P = 0.60). In unaffected carriers proportion agreement on age at last mammogram was 50%. In general, the direction of disagreement on all items was equally distributed. More consistent reporting was mainly determined by a younger age at questionnaire completion. In conclusion, inconsistent self-report of diagnostic radiation by BRCA1/2 mutation carriers was mainly non-differential by disease status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-113
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Reliability
  • Questionnaire
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • BRCA
  • Breast cancer

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