Dropout in a longitudinal, cohort study of urologic disease in community men

Naomi M. Gades, Debra J. Jacobson, Michaela E. McGree, Michael M. Lieber, Rosebud O. Roberts, Cynthia J. Girman, Steven J. Jacobsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Reasons for attrition in studies vary, but may be a major concern in long-term studies if those who drop out differ systematically from those who continue to participate. Factors associated with dropout were evaluated in a twelve-year community-based, prospective cohort study of urologic disease in men. Methods: During 1989-1991, 2,115 randomly selected Caucasian men, ages 40-79 years from Olmsted County, Minnesota were enrolled and followed with questionnaires biennially; 332 men were added in follow-up. A random subset (∼25%) received a urologic examination. Baseline characteristics including age, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms, comorbidities, and socioeconomic factors were compared between subjects who did and did not participate after the twelfth year of follow-up. Results: Of the 2,447 men, 195 died and were excluded; 682 did not participate in 2002. Compared with men in the 40-49 year age group, men ≥ 70 years of age at baseline had a greater relative odds of dropout, 2.65 (95% CI: 1.93, 3.63). In age-adjusted analyses, relative to men without stroke, men who had suffered a stroke had a higher odds of dropout, age-adjusted OR 3.07 (95% CI: 1.49, 6.33). Presence of at least one BPH symptom was not associated with dropout, (age-adjusted OR 1.12 (95% CI: 0.93, 1.36)). Conclusion: These results provide assurance that dropout was not related to primary study outcomes. However, factors associated with dropout should be taken into account in analyses where they may be potential confounders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number58
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
StatePublished - Dec 14 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Informatics


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