The use of dried blood spot sampling in the national social life, health, and aging project

Sharon R. Williams, Thomas W. McDade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Objectives This paper describes the methods used for and issues associated with collection and analysis of dried blood spot (DBS) samples for the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project and provides the basic distributions of the resulting analytes.Methods DBSs from capillary finger sticks were collected by nonmedically trained interviewers from 2,044 individuals, aged 57-85 years. The quality and quantity of DBS samples were evaluated to allow for analysis of interviewer performance. Levels of C-reactive protein, antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus, hemoglobin, and glycosylated hemoglobin were assayed using various analytic methods. Results Cooperation rate for DBS collection was 84.5%, with 99% of the cards yielding enough sample for at least one analysis. The distribution, mean, and standard deviation of the analytes obtained from DBSs are also presented in this paper.Conclusions The high cooperation rate and quality of the spots collected suggest that the collection of DBSs in population-based research is a feasible and viable alternative to venous blood draws. The relative ease of sample collection, transport, and storage are significant benefits. Care should be taken, however, when comparing results from analysis of DBS samples with those obtained from serum or plasma samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)i131-i136
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue numberSUPPL.1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Aging
  • Biomeasures
  • Dried blood spots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'The use of dried blood spot sampling in the national social life, health, and aging project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this