Navigation Links
The greatest medical resource you've never heard of: Rochester epidemiology project
Date:12/10/2012

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- It's the medical resource behind discoveries that have affected patients around the globe, treasured by researchers and funded by the National Institutes of Health for nearly 50 years: the Rochester Epidemiology Project. This comprehensive medical records pool makes Olmsted County, Minn., one of the few places in the world where scientists can study virtually an entire geographic population to identify trends in disease, evaluate treatments and find factors that put people at risk for illness or protect them. And, as it nears the half-century mark, the project is still growing. Health care providers in seven southeastern Minnesota counties are adding patients' records, including Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Wabasha and Winona, more than doubling the number of area residents included.

The project has followed a half-million lives since it began. Co-directors Walter Rocca, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist and epidemiologist, and Barbara Yawn, M.D., research director at Olmsted Medical Center, describe how it developed and where it is going in this month's Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

"The Rochester Epidemiology Project is unique, especially because of its historical capability. We go back to 1966, and we can look at big chunks of histories of people's lives," Dr. Rocca says. "It's extremely valuable to be able to answer medical questions that have to do with prevention, better care and also with understanding the cost and the effectiveness of our interventions."

The project has supported more than 2,000 studies. Research making headlines in recent years includes the findings that women who had their ovaries removed before menopause are at higher risk of dementia; multiple exposures to anesthesia before age 3 are linked to more than double the incidence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; skin cancer is up dramatically in people under 40, especially young women; smoke-free workplace laws save lives; mild cognitive impairment is more prevalent in older men than in older women; and traumatic brain injuries are likely more common than had been believed.

Fewer than 5 percent of Olmsted County's residents opt out. Those who take part can help science without getting poked and prodded or even meeting a researcher. The project can be used to study pretty much any condition; dozens of studies that otherwise wouldn't be possible are under way at any given time.

The biggest change the Rochester Epidemiology Project is seeing mirrors the nation's changing demographics. While whites of Northern European descent have long made up most of Olmsted County's population, a new wave of immigration means that 1 in 4 children isn't of European descent, Dr. Rocca says. Currently, researchers looking for ethnic differences in studies can compare their findings from the project with a much smaller group of ethnically diverse patients, to see whether there are differences or it's a moot point, he says.

The project has its origins in the earliest days of Mayo Clinic. Long before computers existed, Mayo archived patient medical records, believing they would someday prove valuable to researchers. In 1966, Mayo obtained NIH funding to link medical records from health care providers across the county, including Olmsted Medical Center and the Rochester Family Medicine Clinic, and the Rochester Epidemiology Project was born. Eventually technology caught up and the records were put on computer.

The NIH's National Institute on Aging has funded the project since 2010.

"We recognize the potential for the Rochester Epidemiology Project as a valuable research resource that will enable the scientific community to address public health research questions of importance for the well-being of older Americans," says Chhanda Dutta, Ph.D., chief of NIA's Clinical Gerontology Branch.

Hot areas for future research using the project include looking for socioeconomic factors that may drive illness and patients' responses to treatment or serve as protective factors, Dr. Rocca says; Olmsted County residents have a broad range of economic and educational backgrounds. The addition of seven counties also will help researchers study differences between urban and rural populations, another popular area of inquiry right now, he says.

The types of medical information available in the data pool are also growing. The few Olmsted County health providers missing from the project dentists, optometrists and chiropractors, for example are being added, and the project is making it easier to analyze immunizations, prescription drug data and the cost of medical services, Dr. Rocca says.

Dr. Rocca is the Ralph S. and Beverley E. Caulkins Professor of Neurodegenerative Diseases Research at Mayo Clinic. He is often invited by other institutions to share information about the project; he has given talks about it in South Korea, France, Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina in recent months.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sharon Theimer
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Increased risk for breast cancer death among black women greatest during first 3 years postdiagnosis
2. Weakest links show greatest gains in relay races
3. New England Journal of Medicine hails new skin cancer drug as greatest advance yet
4. Survey shows breakthrough medical research relies heavily on NIH funding
5. DXE Medical, Inc. Donates to Franklin Firefighters Annual Christmas Toy and Clothing Drive
6. TherapySites (Websites for Therapists) Announces Partnership with Medical Billing Professionals
7. ISA Surgical Publishes Real Stories of the Benefits of Medical Tourism In Mexico From US And Canadian Patients
8. At Least 35 Common Medical Conditions are Contraindicated for Certain Yoga Poses: Prevent Yoga Injury Campaigns to Educate on Yoga Safety
9. Boston Medical Center awarded elite distinction as a 2012 Leapfrog Top Hospital
10. Protected Power Naps Could Help Keep Medical Interns Alert: Study
11. Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Rochester, MI Welcomes Two Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) from Women's Excellence in Midwifery
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping ... fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness ... size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 ... their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter of indulgence ... high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set the bar ... from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to set low expectations is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new ... the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and honing their ... in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor by nominating ... of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , In April, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 Roche ... received 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) ... severe sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche ... provide a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment ... associated with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... VIEW, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... a.m. CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , ... kayla.belcher@frost.com ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , ... Nitin Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 The vast majority of dialysis ... facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with ... including travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This ... grueling for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many ... and rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: