Disease incidence data in a national-based cohort study would ideally be obtained through a national disease registry. Unfortunately, no such registry currently exists in the United States. Instead, the results from individual state registries need to be combined to ascertain certain disease diagnoses in the United States. The National Cancer Institute has initiated a program to assemble all state registries to provide a complete assessment of all cancers in the United States. Unfortunately, not all registries have agreed to participate. In this article, we develop an imputation-based approach that uses self-reported cancer diagnosis from longitudinally collected questionnaires to impute cancer incidence not covered by the combined registry. We propose a two-step procedure, where in the first step a mover–stayer model is used to impute a participant’s registry coverage status when it is only reported at the time of the questionnaires given at 10-year intervals and the time of the last-alive vital status and death. In the second step, we propose a semiparametric working model, fit using an imputed coverage area sample identified from the mover–stayer model, to impute registry-based survival outcomes for participants in areas not covered by the registry. The simulation studies show the approach performs well as compared with alternative ad hoc approaches for dealing with this problem. We illustrate the methodology with an analysis that links the United States Radiologic Technologists study cohort with the combined registry that includes 32 of the 50 states.

This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.