The Treatment of Mild Hypertension Trial was a randomized, double-blind clinical trial conducted from 1986 to 1992 comparing the efficacy of six antihypertensive treatment regimens in 902 participants with stage I hypertension. To satisfy a secondary objective of the study, follow-up information on mortality and cardiovascular morbidity was collected. For this objective the aim was to ascertain the vital and cardiovascular event status as of the last day of the trial. This was accomplished by inviting each participant to attend a closeout visit shortly after the closeout date. In addition to serving as verification of vital status, this visit allowed data collection on nonfatal events that occurred between the last clinic visit and the closeout date. During this visit the patient was unblinded to study medication and given a medical summary of their participation during the trial, as well as a bottle of open-label medication. The advantages of a closeout visit are discussed along with a call for studies to provide clearer definitions of lost to follow-up and censoring times used in life-table analyses, especially when the primary event includes both fatal and nonfatal events.
- Lost to follow-up