Objectives: This study examined the characteristics of Air Force recruits willing to take part in a health survey vs those unwilling to participate.
Methods: US Air Force recruits undergoing basic military training (n = 32,144) were surveyed regarding demographic and health variables.
Results: Respondents indicating an unwillingness to participate in a health survey reported less healthy lifestyles than those willing to participate. Prediction equations modeling the characteristics of those engaging in 4 risky behaviors were nearly identical regardless of whether those refusing to participate were included.
Conclusions: Results suggest that, despite some low estimates of health behaviors due to response bias, relationships between most risk factors are generally unaffected by those not responding to health surveys.