Table 1

Summary of data linkage steps used to assemble the LongSHOT cohort

StepBlocking keyFocus of linkage algorithms and manual reviewsStep rationalePercentage of all matches identified
Purchasers-voter file
(n≈1.2 m)
Deaths-voter file
(n≈1.7 m)
ASame date of birth+same residential addressName fieldsIdentifies highest probability matches80.12%79.74%
BSame date of birth+similar first and last namesName fields, address fieldsRemoves address as a blocking criterion to capture relocators between SVRD extract date and purchase/death date.17.92%15.64%
CSame date of birth+both persons female+similar first and middle namesName fields, address fieldsSame as step B, except also allows changes of last names among women.0.73%0.06%
DSame addressName fields, date of birth fieldRemoves date of birth from blocking key to allow for errors in this field.1.24%4.56%
  • LongSHOT, Longitudinal Study of Handgun Ownership and Transfer; SVRD, Statewide Voter Registration Database.