Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 13–24 | Cite as

Recruitment of Healthy Adults into a Study of Overnight Sleep Monitoring in the Home: Experience of the Sleep Heart Health Study

  • Bonnie K. Lind
  • James L. Goodwin
  • Joel G. Hill
  • Tauqeer Ali
  • Susan Redline
  • Stuart F. Quan
Original Article


The Sleep Heart Health Study (SHHS) is a prospective cohort study using participants from several ongoing cardiovascular and respiratory disease research projects to investigate the relationship between sleep-disordered breathing and cardiovascular disease. This study design required unusual and different recruiting techniques to meet the study’s enrollment goal of between 6000 and 6600 participants. Individuals were recruited to undergo an overnight home polysomnogram, completion of several questionnaires, and collection of a small amount of physical examination data. This article describes the methods used to recruit these participants and how these procedures influenced the final participation rate and the representativeness of SHHS to its parent cohorts. Of 30,773 people eligible for recruitment into SHHS, attempts were made to enroll 11,145 (36%). Of those contacted, 6441 ultimately agreed to participate (58%). Recruitment rates (38 to 91%) varied among sites. SHHS participants were slightly younger (63.0 vs. 65.0 years, p < 0.001), had more years of education (14.1 vs. 13.7, p < 0.001), more likely to snore (34% vs. 23%, p < 0.001), had higher Epworth sleepiness scores (7.7 vs. 6.5, p < 0.001), slightly higher higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures (127.6/73.9 vs. 127.2/72.1, p < 0.001 for diastolic only), and a slightly higher body mass index (BMI) (28.5 vs. 27.5, p < 0.001). We conclude that it is feasible to recruit existing participants from one large-scale epidemiologic study into another with a high degree of success. However, the characteristics of the new cohort may vary in several respects from their original cohorts and therefore interpretation of study results will have to consider these differences.


Polysomnography sleep-disordered breathing sleep apnea recruitment epidemiology cardiovascular disease 


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Copyright information

© Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bonnie K. Lind
    • 1
  • James L. Goodwin
    • 2
  • Joel G. Hill
    • 3
  • Tauqeer Ali
    • 4
  • Susan Redline
    • 5
  • Stuart F. Quan
    • 2
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Center for Health Policy and Research, College of Health SciencesBoise State UniversityBoise
  2. 2.Sleep and Arizona Respiratory CentersUniversity of Arizona College of MedicineTucson
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyJohns Hopkins School of Public HealthBaltimore
  4. 4.Center for American Indian Health ResearchUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahoma City
  5. 5.Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Pediatrics, Rainbow Babies and Children’s HospitalCase Western Reserve UniversityCleveland
  6. 6.Department of MedicineUniversity of Arizona College of MedicineTucson
  7. 7.Arizona Respiratory CenterUniversity of Arizona College of MedicineTucson

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