Analytical and biological variability in biomarker measurement in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos

Clin Chim Acta. 2016 Dec 1;463:129-137. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2016.10.019. Epub 2016 Oct 15.


Background: Biomarker variability, which includes within-individual variability (CVI), between-individual variability (CVG) and methodological variability (CVP+A) is an important determinant of our ability to detect biomarker-disease associations. Estimates of CVI and CVG may be population specific and little data exists on biomarker variability in diverse Hispanic populations. Hence, we evaluated all 3 components of biomarker variability in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) using repeat blood collections (n=58) and duplicate blood measurements (n=761-929 depending on the biomarker).

Methods: We estimated the index of individuality (II) ((CVI+CVP+A)/CVG) for 41 analytes and evaluated differences in the II across sexes and age groups.

Results: Biomarkers such as fasting glucose, triglycerides and ferritin had substantially higher inter-individual variability and lower II in HCHS/SOL as compared to the published literature. We also found significant sex-specific differences in the II for neutrophil count, platelet count, hemoglobin, % eosinophils and fasting glucose. The II for fasting insulin, post oral glucose tolerance test glucose and cystatin C was significantly higher among the 18-44y age group as compared to the 45+y age group.

Conclusions: The implications of these findings for determining biomarker-disease associations in Hispanic populations need to be evaluated in future studies.

Keywords: Analytical variation; Biomarker variability; Hispanics.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Blood Cell Count*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Health Surveys*
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Triglycerides
  • Ferritins