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

Ann Epidemiol. 2007 Jun;17(6):454-7. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2006.10.018. Epub 2007 Mar 28.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • African Americans
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biological Specimen Banks*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Educational Status
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postal Service
  • Research Design
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • United States