Contributions from the Practitioners in the ARIC Communities
Since 1988 health professionals in the ARIC communities have contributed to the ARIC study by answering and returning our questionnaires. With authorization from our participants we contact their physicians to learn more about their health. The physician's input is very important for good quality of data in the ARIC study when a member of the ARIC cohort or a resident of the ARIC study community develops a cardiovascular event.
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The information provided by the physician helps us in classifying these cardiovascular events. For instance, a physician's report of a prior history of heart disease in his/her patient is very valuable to us in applying the standardized ARIC study criteria in classifying such events. In turn, the use of a standardized way of classifying events is important to our ability to measure the burden of heart disease comparably in the four ARIC study communities, and to meaningfully estimate temporal changes in heart disease and stroke despite evolving diagnostic and treatment practices.
An example of the way in which the study uses the information contributed by the health practitioners in the ARIC study communities can be seen in the section on ARIC Stats.