Purpose: 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.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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.
Conclusions: 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.