Does participating in a long-term cohort study impact research subjects’ longevity? Experimental evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study

John Robert Warren, Andrew Halpern-Manners, Jonas Helgertz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is considerable evidence that the act of participating in a survey can alter participants' attitudes, behaviors, and other outcomes in meaningful ways. Considering findings that this form of panel conditioning also impacts health behaviors and outcomes, we investigated the effect of participating in an intensive half-century-long cohort study on participants’ longevity. To do so, we used data from a 1957 survey of more than 33,000 Wisconsin high school seniors linked to mortality records. One third of those people were selected at random to participate in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS); the other two thirds were never again contacted. Our survival models show no evidence of panel conditioning effects on longevity: People selected at random to participate in the WLS had the same mortality outcomes as their peers who were not selected. This finding holds for the full sample, for women, for men, for population subgroups defined by family socioeconomic origins and educational experiences, and for treatment compliers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101233
JournalSSM - Population Health
Volume19
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Generous support for this project has been provided by the National Science Foundation (SES 1950469 ). Support has also come from the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota , which receives core funding ( P2C HD041023 ) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) . We are also very grateful to Carol Roan, Joseph Savard, and Jason Fletcher for providing helpful assistance. However, errors and omissions are the responsibility of the authors. Please direct correspondence to John Robert Warren at warre046@umn.edu .

Funding Information:
Generous support for this project has been provided by the National Science Foundation (SES 1950469). Support has also come from the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, which receives core funding (P2C HD041023) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). We are also very grateful to Carol Roan, Joseph Savard, and Jason Fletcher for providing helpful assistance. However, errors and omissions are the responsibility of the authors. Please direct correspondence to John Robert Warren at warre046@umn.edu.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

Keywords

  • Cohort study
  • Mortality
  • Panel conditioning

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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