Age of onset: Can we rely on essential tremor patients to report this? data from a prospective, longitudinal study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Essential tremor (ET) is among the most prevalent neurological diseases. Age of onset, a key variable in neuroepidemiological and genetic research, is chiefly assessed by self-report rather than medical record review; the latter may be of little use. As a researcher, one wonders about the quality of this self-report. Is age of onset something which can be reproducibly self-reported by patients? There are few published data to aid researchers. Methods: Age of onset was self-reported at two time points (baseline and follow-up) in 86 ET cases in a longitudinal epidemiological study in New York. Results: The mean follow-up interval was 5.7 ± 2.5 (maximum = 14) years. Overall, agreement between the baseline and follow-up reports was high (ρ = 0.85, p < 0.001). Yet the difference (age of onset baseline-age of onset follow-up) ranged widely (from-47 to 32 years), and in one fifth of cases was ≥10 years. Greater agreement was associated with several clinical factors including age, medication use, embarrassment, depressive symptoms, cognitive test score and disease duration. Conclusions: Differences in reported age of onset in ET may vary widely, and in up to one fifth of patients may be substantial. Investigators should approach these self-reports with caution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroepidemiology
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Age of onset
  • Clinical factors
  • Epidemiology
  • Essential tremor
  • Genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Clinical Neurology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Age of onset: Can we rely on essential tremor patients to report this? data from a prospective, longitudinal study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this