Advancing Precision Health through the All of Us Research Program: Insights from the New England Consortium

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth W. Karlson, MD, MS

Authors: Alexandra Businger1, MPH, Meg Bor2 , Dean C. Xerras2, MD, Scott T. Weiss1, MD, Paulette Denise Chandler1, MD, MPH, Robert C. Green1, MD, Karmel Choi2, PhD, Natalie Boutin3, Eniola Odukale2, Corine Sinnette1, Elizabeth Antonellis2, Krista Zaremski2, Shawn N. Murphy2, MD, PhD, Jordan W. Smoller2, MD, ScD, Cheryl R. Clark1, MD, ScD, Elizabeth W. Karlson1, MD, MS 1. Brigham and Women’s Hospital; 2. Massachusetts General Hospital; 3. Mass General Brigham
Lay Abstract

The All of Us Research Program (AoURP) is a large research initiative from the National Institutes of health. AoURP is inviting one million people across the US to build one of the most diverse databases for health research in history. Over 407,000 people have joined AoURP to date, including communities that have been left out of research in the past. Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is an enrollment partner of AoURP in New England. People participate in AoURP studies by sharing their health information through surveys, electronic health records, having physical measurements taken, and providing blood and urine samples for testing.

 

AoURP data is already becoming useful in health-related studies. A study published in June 2021 used AoURP blood samples to find out how early COVID-19 was present in the US. The study found evidence of COVID-19 exposure in January 2020 in five states (Illinois, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi) weeks earlier than initially thought.  AoURP has also been useful to study obesity and high blood pressure. AoURP staff at BWH also provided information to research participants during the pandemic.

 

Through partnerships with study participants, AoURP can be successful in research that advances health.

Scientific Abstract

Introduction: The National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program (AoURP) advances precision medicine by enrolling one million participants for health research. Over 407,000 people have joined AoURP to date; 80% from communities under-represented in biomedical research (UBR), 50% from racial/ethnic communities. Participants share data via surveys, EHR, physical measurements, blood and urine samples. BWH enrolls participants as part of the All of Us New England (AoUNE) consortium. AoUNE led demonstration projects in AoURP on cardiovascular risks, COVID, and community engagement.

Method: AoUNE investigators compared AoURP data to national studies (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System) to examine cardiovascular risks in diverse populations. Investigators analyzed AoURP biospecimens from 2020 to detect COVID exposures. AoUNE investigators used research infrastructure to provide social determinants of health-related resources (SDOH) to participants during the pandemic.

Result: AoUNE investigators reproduced findings from national studies for hypertension control and obesity. Examination of biospecimens found positive COVID antibodies in early January 2020, earlier than the first reported cases in many states. AouNE staff phoned more than 20,000 AoUNE participants to provide resources for SDOH.

Conclusion: AoURP data and participant engagement strategies have great potential to advance precision health

Clinical Implications
AoURP data is useful in health-related studies. A recent study used AoURP blood samples to find out how early COVID-19 was present in the US. The study found evidence of COVID-19 in five states in January 2020, weeks earlier than initially thought.

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One reply on “Alexandra Businger, MPH”

Good afternoon! This is very exciting to see how All of Us is contributing to important work in the field – especially around COVID-19. Thanks for being here today!

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