Comparisons of measured and self-reported anthropometric variables and blood pressure in a sample of Hong Kong female nurses

Yaojie Xie, Suzanne C. Ho, Zhao Min Liu, Stanley Sai Chuen Hui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To assess the validity of self-reported weight, height, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and blood pressure compared with standardized clinical measurements and to determine the classification accuracy in overweight/obesity and central adiposity. Methods: This pilot study was integrated into a life-course study entitled "Hong Kong Women's Health Study" among 1,253 female nurses in Hong Kong who were aged 35 years to 65 years. Data were collected from self-administered questionnaires that were mailed to the respondents. Of these participants, we obtained the standard body measurements of 144 (11.5%) at our research center. We then compared the self-reported anthropometric variables and blood pressure with the measured data to assess validity based on the level of misreporting, percentage of agreement, consistency, sensitivity and specificity. Results: The self-reported and measured values were highly correlated in terms of anthropometry and blood pressure (correlation coefficients ranged from 0.72 to 0.96). Height was overestimated at an average of 0.42 cm, and waist circumference was underestimated at 2.33 cm (both P<0.05), while no significant differences were observed from weight, blood pressure and BMI (all P>0.05). The proportions of overweight, obesity, and central adiposity by self-reported data did not vary greatly from the measured data (all P>0.05). The self-reporting resulted in correct classifications of BMI, waist circumference, and systolic blood pressure in 85%, 78%, and 87% of women, with corresponding Kappa index values of 0.79, 0.55, and 0.82, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity were 84.6% and 95.7%, respectively, with respect to overweight/obesity detection, whereas those for central adiposity detection were 70.6% and 83.8%, respectively. Conclusion: In a sample of female Hong Kong nurses, the self-reported measures of height, weight, BMI, waist circumference and blood pressure were generally valid. Furthermore, the classification accuracies of overweight/obesity and central adiposity were acceptable.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere107233
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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