Incidence Density

Investigators enrolled 2,100 women in a study and followed them annually for four years to determine the incidence rate of heart disease. After one year, none had a new diagnosis of heart disease, but 100 had been lost to follow-up. After two years, one had a new diagnosis of heart disease, and another 99 had been lost to follow-up. After three years, another seven had new diagnoses of heart disease, and 793 had been lost to follow-up. After four years, another 8 had new diagnoses with heart disease, and 392 more had been lost to follow-up.

The study results could also be described as follows: No heart disease was diagnosed at the first year. Heart disease was diagnosed in one woman at the second year, in seven women at the third year, and in eight women at the fourth year of follow-up. One hundred women were lost to follow-up by the first year, another 99 were lost to follow-up after two years, another 793 were lost to follow-up after three years, and another 392 women were lost to follow-up after 4 years, leaving 700 women who were followed for four years and remained disease free.

Calculate the incidence density of heart disease among this cohort. Assume that persons with new diagnoses of heart disease and those lost to follow-up were disease-free for half the year, and thus contribute ½ year to the denominator.

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