Too often, health care is one-size-fits-all. Treatments meant for the "average" patient may not work well for individual people. Health care providers may find it difficult to coordinate care among specialists or to access all of a patient's health information. Researchers may spend lots of time and resources creating new databases for every study.
All of Us is working to improve health through research. Unlike research that focus on one disease or group of people, All of Us is building a diverse database that can inform thousands of studies on a variety of health conditions. The program will last for 10 years or more. This will allow researchers to study health over time.
In Arizona and Colorado, participants have told us many reasons they joined the program including wanting to ensure their community was represented in health research, to have their health information in one centralized place and to get access to their own results from the program and possibly be considered for other research studies, and to be a part of improving health care for future generations.
Represent your Community
We want participants to reflect the rich diversity of the United States. It’s important that groups underrepresented in biomedical research have an opportunity to contribute and benefit from health studies. Participants are from different races, ethnicities, age groups, and regions of the country. They are also diverse in gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, disability, and health status.
Diversity in a research program is important for several reasons. First, where we live, how we live, and our background can all affect our health. Second, many groups of people have been left out of research in the past. This means researchers know less about their health. By studying data from a diverse group of people, researchers can learn more about what makes people sick or keeps them healthy. What researchers learn today could lead to better care for all of us in the future.
In Arizona and Colorado, 82% of the All of Us participants are from communities who have traditionally been underrepresented in medical research.
Data from All of Us could someday help researchers:
• Identify what makes people more likely to develop a disease.
• Find out how environment, lifestyle, and genes can impact health.
• Build better tools for detecting a health condition and encouraging healthy habits.
Get Information about your Health
By joining All of Us Research Program, you also may learn about your own health. For example, we will give you ways to see the information you share with us and the information we learn about you. This information may be interesting to you.
By joining All of Us, you may get a more complete picture of your Electronic Health Record (EHR). Medical records used to be kept in paper files. Now, most are kept in computer files. These digital medical charts are called electronic health records.
Your EHR may include things like:
- Health issues
Your EHR is created and updated by your health care provider. If you see many health care providers, you may have many EHRs. All of Us will share your EHR information with you so you have a better understanding of your entire health history.
Another result you may receive is your genetic information. All of Us partnered with organizations that study the DNA found in your blood and saliva. The results can provide you with a variety of information, such as:
- Your ancestry (where your family may come from)
- Your traits, such as how much caffeine may affect you
- Whether you may have an increased risk of developing a certain health condition
- How your body might react to certain medications and/or
- Other health related information
In Arizona and Colorado, many participants just received their ancestry and traits genetic results with more participants receiving this information each month. We are hoping that soon medical genetic results will be available as well.
You will be able to choose whether you want to get your DNA results in the future. Once you eventually receive your DNA results, you will be with a genetic counselor from our Genetic Counseling Resource about your results.
For Future Generations
If you decide to join you will be contributing an effort to improve the health of generations to come.
Learning about conditions that run in your family can help you make better choices for your own health.
All of Us participants can log in to their accounts today to fill out the family health history survey. Sharing this history with researchers can help them study patterns in illness and health.