Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010 Apr;58(4):696-701. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.02770.x.

Long-term retention of older adults in the Cardiovascular Health Study: implications for studies of the oldest old.

Author information

Center for Aging and Population Health, Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Room 515, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.



To describe retention according to age and visit type (clinic, home, telephone) and to determine characteristics associated with visit types for a longitudinal epidemiological study in older adults.


Longitudinal cohort study.


Four U.S. clinical sites.


Five thousand eight hundred eighty-eight Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) participants aged 65 to 100 at 1989/90 or 1992/93 enrollment (58.6% female; 15.7% black). CHS participants were contacted every 6 months, with annual assessments through 1999 and in 2005/06 for the All Stars Study visit of the CHS cohort (aged 77-102; 66.5% female; 16.6% black).


All annual contacts through 1999 (n=43,772) and for the 2005/06 visit (n=1,942).


CHS had 43,772 total participant contacts from 1989 to 1999: 34,582 clinic visits (79.0%), 2,238 refusals (5.1%), 4,401 telephone visits (10.1%), 1,811 home visits (4.1%), and 740 other types (1.7%). In 2005/06, the All Stars participants of the CHS cohort had 36.6% clinic, 22.3% home, and 41.1% telephone visits. Compared with participants aged 65 to 69, odds ratios of not attending a CHS clinic visit were 1.82 (95% confidence interval (CI)=1.54-2.13), 2.94 (95% CI=2.45-3.57), 4.55 (95% CI=3.70-5.56), and 9.09 (95% CI=7.69-11.11) for those aged 70 to 74, 75 to 79, 80 to 84, and 85 and older, respectively, in sex-adjusted regression. In multivariable regression, participants with a 2005/06 clinic visit were younger, more likely to be male and in good health, and had had better cognitive and physical function 7 years earlier than participants with other visit types. Participants with home, telephone, and missing visits were similar on characteristics measured 7 years earlier.


Offering home, telephone, and proxy visits are essential to optimizing follow-up of aging cohorts. Home visits increased in-person retention from 36.5% to 58.8% and diversified the cohort with respect to age, health, and physical functioning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms

Grant support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center