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The specificity of the National Death Index and Social Security Administration death master file when information on Social Security Number is lacking.

Authors
Foster-SO; Schubauer-Berigan-MK; Waters-KM
Source
Am J Epi 2000 Jun; 151(11)(Suppl):S43
NIOSHTIC No.
20025071
Abstract
Researchers conducting large cohort mortality studies often rely on the National Death Index (NDI) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to obtain vital status information. Sensitivity and specificity are two performance criteria important in vital status database matching. Although the NDI has demonstrated high specificity using Social Security Number (SSN) and name as identifiers, the specificity of name and date of birth (without SSN) is not known for these national databases (Am J Epidemiol 1993;137:235-41). The present methodological study evaluated the specificity of different combinations of name and date of birth, in ascertaining deaths through the NDI and the SSA. The sensitivity of the SSA death master file (DMF) was also evaluated. The subjects for this study consist of 6,590 nuclear workers with valid SSN's from eight U.S. Department of Energy facilities, whose recent deaths were positively ascertained through the NDI. Their identifying information, without SSN, was submitted to the NDI for comparison to 15 years of records preceding their actual year of death, and to the entire SSA DMF. The sensitivity and specificity of the SSA DMF were 86.92% and 98.62%, respectively, using partial name and complete date of birth as identifiers. The specificity of full name and date of birth for the NDI was nearly 100% (99.95%). Specificity decreased when less-complete identifying information was used to ascertain deaths. The results of this research will provide guidance on the reliability of using identifiers other than SSN in ascertaining vital status from national databases for cohort studies.
Keywords
Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Mortality-surveys; Data-processing; Sociological-factors; Statistical-analysis
CODEN
AJEPAS
Publication Date
20000601
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings; Abstract
Fiscal Year
2000
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
11
ISSN
0002-9262
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
Source Name
American Journal of Epidemiology, Abstracts of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research, Seattle, Washington, June 15-17, 2000
State
OH
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