Research article

BMC Medical Research Methodology

, 12:148

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Determinants of non- response to a second assessment of lifestyle factors and body weight in the EPIC-PANACEA study

  • Anne M MayAffiliated withJulius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht UniversityNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) Email author 
  • , Lotte E AdemaAffiliated withJulius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University
  • , Dora RomagueraAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London
  • , Anne-Claire VergnaudAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London
  • , Antonio AgudoAffiliated withUnit of Nutrition, Environment and Cancer, Catalan Institute of Oncology, IDIBELL
  • , Ulf EkelundAffiliated withMedical Research Council, Epidemiology Unit
  • , Annika SteffenAffiliated withGerman Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke
  • , Philippos OrfanosAffiliated withHellenic Health Foundation, Athens, Greece AND Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, School of Medicine, University of Athens
  • , Nadia SlimaniAffiliated withInternational Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO)
    • , Sabina RinaldiAffiliated withInternational Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC-WHO)
    • , Traci MouwAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London
    • , Sabine RohrmannAffiliated withDivision of Clinical Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center
    • , Silke HermannAffiliated withDivision of Clinical Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center
    • , Heiner BoeingAffiliated withGerman Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke
    • , Manuela M BergmannAffiliated withGerman Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke
    • , Marianne Uhre JakobsenAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Aarhus University
    • , Kim OvervadAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Aarhus UniversityDepartment of Cardiology, Aalborg Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital
    • , Nicholas J WarehamAffiliated withMedical Research Council, Epidemiology Unit
    • , Carlos GonzalezAffiliated withUnit of Nutrition, Environment and Cancer, Catalan Institute of Oncology, IDIBELL
    • , Anne TjonnelandAffiliated withDanish Cancer Society, Institute of Cancer Epidemiology
    • , Jytte HalkjaerAffiliated withDanish Cancer Society, Institute of Cancer Epidemiology
    • , Timothy J KeyAffiliated withCancer Research UK Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford
    • , Elizabeth A SpencerAffiliated withCancer Research UK Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford
    • , Veronica HellstromAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Nutritional Research, Umeå University
    • , Jonas ManjerAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Malmø University Hospital, Lund University
    • , Bo HedbladAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Science, Malmø University Hospital, Lund University
    • , Eiliv LundAffiliated withInstitute of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø
    • , Tonje BraatenAffiliated withInstitute of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø
    • , Françoise Clavel-ChapelonAffiliated withInstitut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), ERI 20Institut Gustave Roussy
    • , Marie-Christine Boutron-RuaultAffiliated withInstitut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), ERI 20Institut Gustave Roussy
    • , Laudina RodríguezAffiliated withPublic Health and Participation Directorate, Health and Health Care Services Council
    • , Maria J SánchezAffiliated withAndalusian School of Public Health, Granada, and CIBER de Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP)
    • , Miren DorronsoroAffiliated withPublic Health Department of Gipuzkoa
    • , Aurelio BarricarteAffiliated withPublic Health Institute of Navarra
    • , Jose Maria HuertaAffiliated withEpidemiology Department, Council of Health and Consumer Affairs, Murcia& CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP)
    • , Androniki NaskaAffiliated withHellenic Health Foundation, Athens, Greece AND Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, School of Medicine, University of Athens
    • , Antonia TrichopoulouAffiliated withHellenic Health Foundation, Athens, Greece AND Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, School of Medicine, University of Athens
    • , Domenico PalliAffiliated withMolecular and Nutritional Epidemiology Unit, ISPO-Cancer Research and Prevention Institute
    • , Valeria PalaAffiliated withNutritional Epidemiology Unit, IRCCS Foundation, National Cancer Institute
    • , Teresa NoratAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London
    • , Amalia MattielloAffiliated withDipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Università di Napoli
    • , Rosario TuminoAffiliated withCancer Registry, Azienda Ospedaliera “Civile M.P.Arezzo”
    • , Daphne van der AAffiliated withNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
    • , H Bas Bueno-de-MesquitaAffiliated withNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
    • , Elio RiboliAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London
    • , Petra HM PeetersAffiliated withJulius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht UniversityDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London

Abstract

Background

This paper discusses whether baseline demographic, socio-economic, health variables, length of follow-up and method of contacting the participants predict non-response to the invitation for a second assessment of lifestyle factors and body weight in the European multi-center EPIC-PANACEA study.

Methods

Over 500.000 participants from several centers in ten European countries recruited between 1992 and 2000 were contacted 2–11 years later to update data on lifestyle and body weight. Length of follow-up as well as the method of approaching differed between the collaborating study centers. Non-responders were compared with responders using multivariate logistic regression analyses.

Results

Overall response for the second assessment was high (81.6%). Compared to postal surveys, centers where the participants completed the questionnaire by phone attained a higher response. Response was also high in centers with a short follow-up period. Non-response was higher in participants who were male (odds ratio 1.09 (confidence interval 1.07; 1.11), aged under 40 years (1.96 (1.90; 2.02), living alone (1.40 (1.37; 1.43), less educated (1.35 (1.12; 1.19), of poorer health (1.33 (1.27; 1.39), reporting an unhealthy lifestyle and who had either a low (<18.5 kg/m2, 1.16 (1.09; 1.23)) or a high BMI (>25, 1.08 (1.06; 1.10); especially ≥30 kg/m2, 1.26 (1.23; 1.29)).

Conclusions

Cohort studies may enhance cohort maintenance by paying particular attention to the subgroups that are most unlikely to respond and by an active recruitment strategy using telephone interviews.

Keywords

Non-response Non-participation Lost-to-follow-up