Full Papers

Validity and reproducibility of the food-frequency questionnaire used in the Shanghai Men's Health Study

Raquel Villegasa1, Gong Yanga1, DaKe Liua2, Yong-Bing Xianga2, Hui Caia1, Wei Zhenga1 and Xiao Ou Shua1 c1

a1 Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Medical Center East, Suite 6000, 1215 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37232-8300, USA

a2 Department of Epidemiology, Shanghai Cancer Institute, 2200/25# Xie Tu Road, Shanghai, 200032, PR China


We evaluated the validity and reproducibility of the FFQ used in the Shanghai Men's Health Study (SMHS). The study included 195 randomly selected participants of the SMHS who completed one FFQ at baseline, twelve 24-hour dietary recalls (24-HDR) (once a month for twelve consecutive months) and a second FFQ at the end of the study. The FFQ accounted for 88·78 % of the foods recorded in the 24-HDR surveys. The validity of the FFQ was evaluated by comparing nutrient and food group intake levels from the second FFQ and the multiple 24-HDR. Correlation coefficients ranged from 0·38 to 0·64 for macronutrients, 0·33 to 0·58 for micronutrients and 0·35 to 0·72 for food groups. Misclassification to opposite quartiles for nutrients and food groups was rare, ranging from 1·5 to 7·7 %, while exact agreement rates were between 31·8 and 53·3 %. The reliability of the FFQ was assessed by comparing the intake levels from the two FFQ. Correlation coefficients were 0·39 to 0·53 for macronutrients, 0·38 to 0·52 for micronutrients and 0·39 to 0·64 for food groups. Exact agreement rates for quartile distribution were between 31·8 and 49·2 %, while misclassification to opposite quartiles was between 1·5 and 6·2 %. These data indicate that the SMHS FFQ can reasonably categorise usual intake of nutrients and food groups among men living in urban Shanghai.

(Received May 12 2005)

(Revised November 27 2006)

(Accepted November 29 2006)


c1 *Corresponding author: Dr Xiao-Ou Shu, fax +1-615-936-1269, email xiao-ou.shu@vanderbilt.edu


Abbreviations: 24-HDR, 24-hour dietary recall; LOA, limits of agreement; SMHS, Shanghai Men's Health Study; SWHS, Shanghai Women's Health Study