Skip to main content
cookie image

Our website uses cookies, as almost all websites do, to help provide you with the best experience we can. Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer or mobile phone when you browse websites.

LEARN MORE >

Cookies help us:

  • Make our website work as you’d expect.
  • Provide a message we believe is more relevant to you.

We do not use cookies to:

  • Collect any personally identifiable information.
  • Collect any sensitive information.
  • Pass personally identifiable data to third parties.

You can learn more about all the cookies and the information we collect by reading our Privacy Policy. If you don’t want to use cookies you can either exit the website or change your browser settings.

close
Back to In the News

NIH says its 1-million-person health study is off to good start

NIH says its 1-million-person health study is off to good start

The National Institutes of Health’s All of Us health study aims to enroll 1 million participants, including children, within 6 years. DAKE KANG/AP PHOTO

A plan to entice 1 million people in the United States to volunteer for a huge study of health and genes is making good progress 1 year after its national launch, organizers said this week. The All of Us study run by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, has recruited 143,000 participants who have already taken surveys and visited a clinic to give blood and urine samples. Another 87,000 have at least registered for the study.

Study leaders say these numbers give them confidence All of Us will reach 1 million participants within 5 or 6 years—although they will need to ramp up enrollment to reach that goal. And they expect to broaden the study’s geographic distribution, which so far largely covers just a few states.

Announced by then-President Barack Obama 4 years ago, the All of Us study, which could cost $4 billion over 10 years, aims to enroll a diverse swath of U.S. inhabitants—citizens or not—who agree to share their health records and DNA on an anonymized basis. Researchers will use the data to develop “precision medicine,” or personalized treatments for others—the study participants themselves can request their genetic data but won’t receive medical help as part of the project. The 143,000 people who have given consent, taken surveys, and visited a clinic for physical measurements and to give blood and urine samples meet All of Us’s original diversity goal: Fifty-three percent are ethnic or racial minorities, far more than the 39% these groups constitute in the U.S. population. (For example, participants with self-identified African ancestry constitute 20% of the study, compared with 13% in the population.)

And 80% are from groups All of Us has defined as “underrepresented in biomedical research.” That includes gay people, rural dwellers, the elderly, and those who are disabled or don’t have good access to medical care.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE