Objective: To describe loss to follow-up (LTFU) in a longitudinal community-based study on urogenital tract dysfunction in older men.
Patients and methods: A cohort study of men recruited from a Dutch municipality was performed. A baseline study and two follow-up rounds--all with questionnaires and additional measurements--were performed with, on average, 2.1-year intervals. Baseline characteristics were compared between participants and non-participants in the first and in the second follow-up study.
Results: The response rates in the first and in the second follow-up were 78.0 and 80.0%, respectively. Various characteristics were found to be related to LTFU (i.e., more than 5% difference in response rate). Lower urinary tract symptoms were related to LTFU in the first and second follow-up. Sexual dysfunction was related to LTFU only in the second follow-up. Adjustment for confounders yielded odds ratios for the primary outcome variables (lower urinary tract symptoms, sexual dysfunction, and health status) that approximated the value of 1. LTFU according to these variables was different in men with and without other chronic illnesses.
Conclusions: LTFU seems not to be related to the primary outcome variables in this study. Describing response patterns in longitudinal studies is important, especially in studies involving older participants, as often is the case in urological research.
2005 S. Karger AG, Basel