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This lecture summarizes two related studies. The first study is an assessment of the comparability of maternal reports and medical records for 14 chronic children’s health conditions. The second study focuses on how the estimates of prevalence and distribution of asthma differ depending on which reporting source is used. Both studies use data from a large nationally representative sample of children born in the United States in 1988 and followed for three years.

The survey collected data from the two most commonly used sources of data on child health: maternal reports and medical records. The studies summarized here discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each reporting source and analyze the patterns and reasons for differing estimates of asthma prevalence and distribution based on the two sources.