Recruitment problem solved with the Mayo Clinic Biobank

By Ann Marie Jahn
May 1, 2015

How does dietary sodium affect the stress related change in heart rate?  This is the question that John Eisenach, MD asked as he started researching the effects of certain genetic alterations and how these changes influence heart and blood vessel function under controlled levels of sodium in the diet.  He needed participants with a specific genotype for this project.  His study team worked three years to recruit volunteers and after that time, had only identified 35 participants.  Out of options, Dr. Eisenach turned to the Mayo Clinic Biobank for help.  In less than one year, the Mayo Clinic Biobank successfully recruited 36 participants with the specific genotype needed for his study.  These participants enabled Dr. Eisenach to complete the study in less time, and confirm that the low sodium diet yielded a lower heart rate response to stress.  These results are now affecting patient care sooner, rather than later.

Because the participants are selected on the basis of a specific genotype, they will also be offered an opportunity to participate in further research studies with Dr. Eisenach’s group to help determine the role this genotype plays in cardiovascular disease.  This benefits everyone:  the researchers have the unique participants they need for the study,  patients are provided with enhanced care sooner based on the findings, and the participants also gain satisfaction knowing that they that they are contributing to the health care for others.

Interested in learning more? Many scientific papers came out of this study – here are just a few examples: