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The Healthy Nevada Project: rapid recruitment for population health study

By Joseph J Grzymski, Max J Coppes, Jim Metcalf, Christos Galanopoulos, Chris Rowan, Michele Henderson, Robert Read, Harry Reed, Bruce Lipp, Dave Miceli, Susan Rybarski, Anthony Slonim

Posted 19 Jan 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/250274

Background: Nevada ranks in the bottom half of overall health rankings in the United States. The majority of residents of Northern Nevada live in Washoe County, which is confounded with high age-adjusted death rates for heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease. Methods: Saliva as a source of DNA was collected from adults in Northern Nevada as the first phase of a much larger (100,000 participants) effort to contribute to comprehensive population health studies in Nevada. The personal genetics company 23andMe was used to genotype the first 10,250 participants and deliver their custom ancestry, traits, wellness, and carrier status reports. Results: The study was announced by Governor Brian Sandoval on September 15, 2016 and within two days the registration of 9,700 volunteers for an appointment was complete. Processing of 9,344 participants was achieved in 3 months, with a no-show rate of just over 11%. The participant population was skewed to female and was less racially diverse than the population. Conclusion: DNA genotyping was administered free-of-charge and the patient population was representative of the socio-economic diversity in northern Nevada - indicating that free genetic testing is of interest to a broad swath of the population and a powerful motivator for comprehensive population health study research.

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