The HRS 2003 Diabetes Study was funded by the National Institute on Aging through a competing supplement to the Health and Retirement Study. Its aims were to collect self-reported questionnaire data on aspects of treatment and self-management of diabetes, and to collect a clinical biomarker of glucose control: glycosylated hemoglobin, or HbA1c. The survey questions were drawn from several sources, including validated instruments from the Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center. The blood spot assays for HbA1c were performed by Flexsite Diagnostics, Inc. Both data collections were done through mail surveys.
There were 3,194 interviewed respondents in the 2002 HRS who reported a diagnosis of diabetes (including respondents whose interviews were given by proxies). Of these, 680 were excluded from the 2003 Diabetes Study because of their participation in the Consumption and Activities Mail Survey (CAMS). This exclusion is random, with the slight exception that proxy cases from 2000 were ineligible for CAMS but eligible for the Diabetes Study, so they are represented at slightly higher rates prior to weighting adjustments.
Of the 2,514 eligible 2002 participants, 133 were subsequently determined to have died prior to the October 2003 start of the Diabetes Study, and so are ineligible for inclusion in the sample. Of the 2,381 remaining eligible cases, 1,901 returned questionnaires, for a response rate of 79.8%.
A total of 1,233 valid blood spots were returned for HbA1c assays. That is 64.9% of those who returned questionnaires, and 51.8% of all eligible cases.
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