Objective: To describe the fourth phase of the Prospective Population Study of Women in Gothenburg, Sweden, with special reference to participation and survival.
Design: Prospective population study.
Setting: City of Gothenburg with about 430,000 inhabitants.
Participants: 1462 participants and 128 refusers aged 38-60 years at the time of the initial study in 1968-69, 282 women who were sampled but not invited to the study in 1968-69, and 266 women participating since 1980-81 and 32 women for the first time in 1992-93.
Main outcome measures: Participation rate, survival, anthropometric and metabolic characteristics.
Results: The participation rate throughout the study period was high. The participants were mainly characteristic of women of the same ages in the general population even after 24 years. The mortality after 24 years was higher in non-participants than in participants, while there was no difference in survival between women who were invited and women who were not invited to the study.
Conclusions: The initial participants were mainly characteristic of the general population, also after a long follow-up period. The long-term survival was lower in initial refusers than in initial participants.