Response rates to a questionnaire 26 years after baseline examination with minimal interim participant contact and baseline differences between respondents and nonrespondents.


Journal Article

Research on response rates to surveys mailed to study participants decades after baseline examination, with minimal interim contact, is limited. This paper documents response rates to a 26-year follow-up survey of surviving participants from a large cohort in Illinois and compares baseline characteristics of nonrespondents and respondents. Mortality follow-up of the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry 1967-1973 cohort involved minimal or no participant contact since baseline. In 1996, a 26-year follow-up questionnaire was mailed to all surviving participants aged 65 years or older. Current addresses were obtained from the Health Care Financing Administration for 96.5 percent of 12,409 participants in our analyses. Total response rates were 59.8 percent and, for participants for whom Health Care Financing Administration addresses were available, 60.8 percent. A higher response rate was obtained for younger recipients, men, Whites, more-educated persons, nonsmokers, and those with a better cardiovascular risk profile at baseline. A graded negative relation was found between number of cardiovascular risk factors at baseline and response rates obtained in 1996. Use of Health Care Financing Administration records as an additional follow-up method and factors that influence response rates are discussed. In conclusion, long-term follow-up of older surviving participants is feasible if current addresses can be obtained from standardized sources.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pirzada, A; Yan, LL; Garside, DB; Schiffer, L; Dyer, AR; Daviglus, ML

Published Date

  • January 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 159 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 94 - 101

PubMed ID

  • 14693664

Pubmed Central ID

  • 14693664

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1476-6256

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9262

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/aje/kwh012


  • eng