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Ann Epidemiol. 2007 Jun;17(6):454-7. Epub 2007 Mar 28.

Feasibility of running clinics to collect biological specimens in a nationwide cohort study--Adventist Health Study-2.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA.



Collecting biologic and questionnaire data allows analyses that can include both genetic/biomarker and behavioral factors. Therefore, the feasibility of collecting biological specimens from a nationally dispersed cohort (Adventist Health Study-2) was tested.


We selected 2130 subjects from California, Washington, Texas, and Louisiana to simulate a widely scattered cohort. Clinics were held at local church halls. Nonclinic attendees were invited to mail in their blood samples. The remaining nonparticipants were offered a home visit by a venipuncturist.


Sixty-four percent of nonblack and 38.4% of black invitees attended the clinics. Another 11.3% of nonblack and 5.9% of black subjects from a subsample mailed in their blood samples. A venipuncturist visit collected samples from another 5.3% of nonblack subjects, but hurricanes disrupted this method among blacks. This experience suggests that we could collect biological samples from 81.2% and at least 44.3% of the nonblack and black subjects, respectively.


We have demonstrated the feasibility of collecting biological specimens from black as well as nonblack subjects, with an efficient, cost-effective system, and limited personpower, overcoming many of the complexities imposed by scattered subjects, diversity of culture, as well as cumbersome and varied state legislation governing clinics and clinic personnel.

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