Erie-area residents are receiving postcards, asking them to participate in a nationwide health study.
Postcards are being delivered to about 90,000 northwestern Pennsylvanians, inviting them to participate in a landmark health survey.
The All of Us Research Program, created by the National Institutes of Health, seeks to boost medical research and improve health by collecting an extraordinary amount of data.
Up to 1 million people across the country are being asked to complete questionnaires, submit blood and urine samples, and have their blood pressure, heart rate, waist and hips measured.
“All of this information will be sent to a data warehouse and be de-identified,” said Mylynda Massart, M.D., a UPMC physician who is co-investigator for All of Me in Pennsylvania. “Instead of having your name attached, it will be, say, a 47-year-old Caucasian woman from Pittsburgh or Erie.”
The University of Pittsburgh received a $70 million NIH grant to conduct All of Us in Pennsylvania. Recruitment started in the Pittsburgh area in 2017 and recently expanded to Erie.
Participants can complete the initial surveys online then schedule an appointment to have their vital signs measured. These appointments will be held at area YMCA of Greater Erie locations and Pinecrest Family Practice, 3535 Pine Ave.
Participants will each receive a $25 gift card upon completion of their visit.
“There will be additional surveys down the road and the potential for people to be involved in a higher level of research studies,” Massart said.
Participants can also give All of Us access to their electronic medical records, Massart said. These will also be wiped of the participant’s name and other identifying labels.
“Ultimately, we hope this research project will last at least 10 to 20 years,” Massart said.
David Bruce can be reached at 870-1736 or by email. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ETNbruce.