Validation of age determination with historical events in Birnin Kebbi, Northwest Nigeria.

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Date: July-August 2019
From: Nigerian Medical Journal(Vol. 60, Issue 4)
Publisher: Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Document Type: Survey
Length: 1,710 words
Lexile Measure: 1610L

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Byline: Folajimi. Otubogun, Nasiru. Sanni, Amina. Bello

Context: Birth registration is not universal and remains elusive for some people living in developing countries, such as Nigeria; hence, age determination for healthcare and health-related research is often problematic. Aims: The aim is to validate the use of a historical events' scale as a tool for estimating the age of Nigerian adults residing in Birnin Kebbi, Northwest Nigeria. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Birnin Kebbi, a metropolitan capital city of Kebbi state, Northwest Nigeria, and included adults aged 18 years and older with a valid document indicating their year of birth. Subjects and Methods: Seven historical events comprising major national events were cross-referenced to the individual's personal history to estimate their ages, which were then compared to their documented ages. Statistical Analysis Used: Relationship of the documented and estimated ages was assessed with the Spearman's rank-order correlation and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) analyses. Results: A total of 288 subjects (63.2% males) with a mean documented age of 34.5 [+ or -] 11.3 (range 18-75) years were surveyed. The mean estimated age was 32.5 [+ or -] 11.18 years. Spearman's rank-order correlation analysis showed a statistically strong positive correlation between the actual and estimated ages (0.953, P < 0.001). The ICC between documented and estimated ages was 0.968 (95% confidence interval = 0.959-0.975). Conclusions: The use of this tool in Nigerian adults provides a reasonably accurate age estimation. Its use in populations and communities with inadequate birth registration may improve the quality of age-related health data in Nigerian adults.


Age, a key demographic variable, is a basic requirement in healthcare and health information systems for the purposes of proper medical records, clinical assessment, therapeutic formulation, and prognostic stratification. Age ascertainment is also pivotal for epidemiological surveys such as dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders.[1]

Although birth registration has a near-universal coverage in some parts of the world, it is not well adopted in many low- and middle-income countries.[2],[3],[4] Insufficient number of registration centers, lack of awareness of the importance of birth registration, ignorance and illiteracy, and poor access to maternity centers for women have been identified as limitations to birth registration in Nigeria.[5] As a result of poor registration of births and high illiteracy rates, age determination constitutes a significant obstacle in accurate documentation for clinical and research purposes in developing countries such as Nigeria.[6] National estimate in 2006 showed that less than a third of 5 million annual births were registered in Nigeria. Urban areas had 50.3% birth registration while rural areas had only 21.2%...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A606834903