Validation of blood-based assays using dried blood spots for use in large population studies

Biodemography Soc Biol. 2014;60(1):38-48. doi: 10.1080/19485565.2014.901885.


Assessment of health in large population studies has increasingly incorporated measures of blood-based biomarkers based on the use of dried blood spots (DBS). The validity of DBS assessments made by labs used by large studies is addressed by comparing assay values from DBS collected using conditions similar to those used in the field with values from whole blood samples. The DBS approach generates values that are strongly related to whole blood levels of HbA1c, cystatin C, and C-reactive protein. Assessing lipid levels reliably with DBS appears to be a greater challenge. However, even when DBS values and values from venous blood are highly correlated, they are often on a different scale, and using conventional cutoffs may be misleading.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cystatin C / blood
  • Dried Blood Spot Testing / standards*
  • Dried Blood Spot Testing / statistics & numerical data
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cystatin C
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Cholesterol