Assessment of follow-up, and the completeness and accuracy of cancer case ascertainment in three areas of India

Aleyamma Mathew, Carrie R. Daniel, Leah M. Ferrucci, Tulika Seth, Susan S. Devesa, Preethi S. George, Hemali Shetty, Niveditha Devasenapathy, Susan Yurgalevitch, Tanuja Rastogi, Dorairaj Prabhakaran, Prakash C. Gupta, Nilanjan Chatterjee, Rashmi Sinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: A prospective study of diet and cancer has not been conducted in India; consequently, little is known regarding follow-up rates or the completeness and accuracy of cancer case ascertainment. Methods: We assessed follow-up in the India Health Study (IHS; 4671 participants aged 35-69 residing in New Delhi, Mumbai, or Trivandrum). We evaluated the impact of medical care access and relocation, re-contacted the IHS participants to estimate follow-up rates, and conducted separate studies of cancer cases to evaluate registry coverage (604 cases in Trivandrum) and the accuracy of self- and proxy-reporting (1600 cases in New Delhi and Trivandrum). Results: Over 97% of people reported seeing a doctor and 85% had lived in their current residence for over six years. The 2-year follow-up rate was 91% for Trivandrum and 53% for New Delhi. No cancer cases were missed among public institutions participating in the surveillance program in Trivandrum during 2003-2004; but there are likely to be unmatched cases (ranging from 5 to 13% of total cases) from private hospitals in the Trivandrum registry, as there are no mandatory reporting requirements. Vital status was obtained for 36% of cancer cases in New Delhi as compared to 78% in Trivandrum after a period of 4 years. Conclusions: A prospective cohort study of cancer may be feasible in some centers in India with active follow-up to supplement registry data. Inclusion of cancers diagnosed at private institutions, unique identifiers for individuals, and computerized medical information would likely improve cancer registries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-341
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • End-point
  • Follow-up
  • India
  • Prospective cohort
  • Registry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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