Validity of Self-Reported Body Mass Index and Sleeping Problems Among Adult Population of Georgia

Jin-Mann S. Lin*, Michael J. Decker, Dana J. Brimmer, William C. Reeves
Chronic Viral Diseases Branch, Mail Stop A-15, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-borne and Enteric Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

© 2010 Lin et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Chronic Viral Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mail Stop A-15, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA; Tel: 404-639-1646; Fax: 404-639-2779; E-mail:



This study assessed the validity of body mass index (BMI) derived from self-reported height and weight in comparison to BMI derived from clinical measurement. We further examined the misclassification effect of self-reported BMI in association with complaints of snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness.


Data came from a population-based study of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and unwellness, between September 2004 and July 2005, in metropolitan, urban, and rural Georgia. We compared self-reported with clinicallymeasured height and weight from 774 persons aged 18-59 and the bias impact on their association with snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness.


The correlation coefficient between self-reported and clinically-measured BMI was 0.92 (p<0.0001) and intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.90. For overweight persons (BMI >=25 kg/m2), self-reported BMI had 89% sensitivity and 95% specificity compared to clinically-measured BMI. Misclassification of self-reported BMI categories revealed slightly higher odds ratios (ORs) for obese categories in predicting the likelihood of having a snoring problem than those based on measured values.


Self-reported height and weight are valid for determining BMI categories and the relationship to snoring in a large-scale population study.

Keywords: Body mass index (BMI), self-reported data, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, misclassification, intra-class correlation.