Lea Lykke Braskhøj Lauridsen

Risk of selection bias due to non-participation in a cohort study on pubertal timing

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BACKGROUND: Non-participation in aetiologic studies of pubertal timing is frequent. However, little effort has been given to explore the risk and potential impact of selection bias in studies of pubertal timing.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to explore the risk of selection bias due to non-participation in a newly established puberty cohort.

METHODS: We evaluated whether three maternal exposures chosen a priori (pre-pregnancy obesity, smoking, and alcohol drinking during pregnancy) were associated with participation, whether pubertal timing was associated with participation, and whether selection bias influenced the associations between these exposures and pubertal timing. In total, 22 439 children from the Danish National Birth Cohort born 2000-2003 were invited to the Puberty Cohort and 15 819 (70%) participated. Exposures were self-reported during pregnancy. Pubertal timing was measured using a previously validated marker, "the height difference in standard deviations" (HD:SDS), which is the difference between pubertal height and adult height, both in standard deviations. For this study, pubertal height at around 13 years in sons and around 11 years in daughters was obtained from an external database, and adult height was predicted based on parental height reported by mothers.

RESULTS: Participation was associated with most exposures but not with pubertal timing, measured by HD:SDS. The associations between exposures and HD:SDS were comparable for participants only and all invited for participation.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, the risk of selection bias in aetiologic studies on pubertal timing in the Puberty Cohort appears minimal.

TidsskriftPaediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology
Sider (fra-til)668-677
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2020

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© 2020 The Authors. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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