Monday, September 26, 2016

Collaborating with REGARDS

Mary Cushman, MD, Professor of Medicine, will be hosting an informational session on data availability from the ReGARDS study. This is a great opportunity!

October 21 from 9:15-10:15 in HSRF 200

I am writing to provide information some of you might find useful to your research and to invite you to a session about one of our major research initiatives here at UVM.  We have been participating as central laboratory for a large cohort study, REGARDS, since 2003 now. REGARDS = Reasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke. The study is an observational study which enrolled 30,000 black and white adults aged 45+ and is following them prospectively for stroke, cognitive function and almost any endpoint you could think of.  We have extensive baseline information on these people, including a biorepository here at UVM. We are soon finishing a second visit of the cohort, 10 years after baseline, where we have ascertained information on the incidence of cardiovascular risk factors and a variety of other measures/data. To give you some basic numbers to describe what we have:
·        30,000 people, about ½ African-American, about ½ living in the southeast and the rest throughout the US
·        Baseline risk factor data, ECG, cognitive testing, geocoding, social factors, novel biomarkers, genomics data in subsets (almost anything you could imagine but apologies to our pulmonary colleagues we don’t have PFTs)
·        Follow up every 6 months with a cognitive battery every 2 years (so we have Trajectory data on cognition), some geriatric functional measures/outcomes
·        For outcomes (for each one this is the number who were free of that disease at baseline and developed it by 10 year visit.
o   About 1000 incident stroke
o   About 1000 incident coronary events
o   About 275 incident venous thrombosis
o   About 1400 incident diabetes
o   About 3000 incident hypertension
o   About 3000 incident hyperlipidemia
o   About 1200 incident atrial fibrillation
o   About 2500 incident kidney disease
A major goal of the project is to share the data as widely as we can, and we have been very successful on that, as evidenced by a large number of ancillary research projects that have been funded to add new data to the study, answer new research questions not covered by the main grant, and by the publication rate of the study (currently producing about 1 paper a week, mostly by first authors with no funding from the study). Several trainees here at UVM have used the data to write papers. The study has a website that you can look at for other details:
Some of you may have attended talks in the past about the study at various Grand Rounds / Seminars, including the VVM Conference. I would like to hold a session to share information about the study and its amazing wealth of data with UVM’ers who might be interested in collaborating with the study on anything ranging from writing a paper on something that interests them to writing a grant to delve into interesting questions. This would allow attendees to learn about the study and to talk with some REGARDS investigators from our group about whether research ideas they have could be answered with the data.  

Mary Cushman, MD, MSc
Professor of Medicine
University of Vermont College of Medicine
Director, Thrombosis and Hemostasis Program
University of Vermont Medical Center
Burlington, VT
Twitter: @MaryCushmanMD

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