Biomarkers in Representative Population Surveys

Objective measures of health indicators have historically been very challenging to collect with large-scale representative population surveys. Cost, interviewer training, and the invasiveness of collection techniques were some of the primary barriers. However new methods in biological specimen or biomarker collection and analysis mean that a number of these barriers have been reduced or removed. This chapter discusses some of the existing studies that collect biomarkers in the United States as example cases for how new developments have changed the viability of collecting these measures at scale. In particular, dried blood spot (DBS) and DNA sampling and analysis are discussed as groundbreaking advancements in this area of data collection.