Are there gender differences in self-reported smoking practices? Correlation with thiocyanate and cotinine levels in smokers and nonsmokers from the Pawtucket Heart Health Program

Annlouise R. Assaf, Donna Parker, Kate L. Lapane, Joyce L. McKenney, Richard A. Carleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study compared serum cotinine and thiocyanate in assessment of self-reported smoking behavior among 1400 men and 1809 women from two New England communities. Methods: Serum thiocyanate and serum cotinine levels were analyzed on 2411 and 798 survey respondents, respectively, in an attempt to provide an objective measurement for validation of self-reported smoking behaviors that were obtained through an in-home interviewer-administered questionnaire. Cross-sectional household surveys were conducted with randomly selected men and women, aged 18-65, between 1981 and 1993 as part of the evaluation of the Pawtucket Heart Health Program. Results: Among smokers, the thiocyanate test had similar rates of agreement for women (88.0%) and for men (89.3%). However, among nonsmokers, thiocyanate had higher rates of agreement for women (91.5%) than for men (85.2%). For cotinine, the rates of agreement among smokers were higher for women (91.6%) than for men (89.7%). Similarly, the rates of agreement among nonsmokers were also higher for women (93.9%) than for men (91.9%). Overall, serum cotinine had a higher concordance rate than serum thiocyanate for both men and women. Conclusions: Although our results suggested that there were some differences in self-reporting of smoking status by gender, results were quite similar between self-reports of smoking and both biochemical tests. The results obtained from this large population-based study from two New England communities lend credibility to the use of self-reports as a low-cost accurate approach to obtaining information on smoking behaviors among both men and women in large population-based health surveys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)899-906
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Volume11
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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