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Enrollment opens in All of Us Research Program

Enrollment opens in All of Us Research Program

Dr. Katie Benziger is an Essentia Health cardiologist. She is also one of the first people to enroll in the All of Us Research Program at Essentia.

"I'm relatively healthy, but I had some complications with my pregnancies, and I hope we can learn more about how this increases my risk of future events," she said. "When you have a big study like this with a lot of people, you can learn a lot from information from surveys and genetic information that is linked with the medical record.”

Essentia Health is partnering with the National Institutes of Health as an enrollment site for the All of Us Research Program. One million or more volunteers around the United States will enroll and be asked to share information about their health, habits, and environment in order to speed up health research and more quickly identify medical advancements.

"The results of All of Us will accelerate medical breakthroughs. It may help identify risks and what you can do to lower them," said Dr. Stephen Waring, a research scientist at the Essentia Institute of Rural Health and the principal investigator of the program.

The program is the largest of its kind ever attempted. At its heart, the work will help develop better ways to measure a person's risk for disease based on genetics, socioeconomic factors, environmental exposures, and other individual factors. The program could also help identify which treatments work for different types of people. Over the program’s duration, participants will remain engaged as partners, with ongoing opportunities to help shape the program with their input.

"As the medical director of heart and vascular research, I have a vested interest in making sure other people participate in our studies, so I’m hoping to be a leader to help this get kicked off because it’s an important study and unique for people in the Northland to be able to participate in a study like this," Dr. Benziger added. "I’m really excited to be one of the first to get enrolled."

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