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Overview of NACDD Biomarker Program

Program Mission: To educate public health chronic disease practitioners about the value of cardiovascular and other chronic disease biomarkers and nutrition biomarkers, so the quality of chronic disease tests and current findings on nutrition markers for disease are integrated into public health chronic disease prevention and control practice.

Program Description: Since 2008 NACDD has worked closely with CDC’s Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health. In this capacity we have managed and co-chaired the Cardiovascular Biomarker Standardization Steering Committee and developed translation documents in response to the First and Second "National Reports on Biochemical Indicators of Diet and Nutrition in the U.S. Population” to facilitate dissemination and use of this data.

Cardiovascular Biomarker Standardization: Every day, health care providers rely on the results of biochemical laboratory blood tests to make diagnoses and treat individuals with cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. On national and state levels, public health officials use population-based test results to establish population health-risk profiles and conduct medical and epidemiologic research related to these diseases. Further, such test results are used to give health officials and policy-makers information needed to make sound program and policy decisions to reduce the human and economic impacts of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.

If the reliability of commonly used tests is in question or if laboratory standards are not being met, the basis for many clinical research and program-evaluation activities can be seriously undermined. For example, using cardiovascular biomarker tests that are not standardized could result in the following situations:

  • Variability, and thus unreliability, of test results for clinical trials in which multiple laboratories participate.

  • Initiation of public health epidemiologic investigations launched on the basis of faulty measurements.

  • Misleading data being used for public health evaluation and planning.

  • Development of unwarranted and costly public health programs and policies.

  • False-negative or false-positive test results that could have life-threatening implications for patients.

Advancing the quality of chronic disease blood tests is the primary goal of this segment of the Biomarker Program.

Nutrition Biomarkers: NACDD developed responses to the First (2009) and Second ((2012) "National Reports on Biochemical Indicators of Diet and Nutrition in the U.S. Population.” These reports provide reference intervals for selected nutritional indicators in the U.S. population and our translation responses help integrate the findings into public health practice for prevention and control of chronic disease.

Increasing utilization of nutrition biomarkers (e.g., water- and fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients) in planning, program development and evaluation is the primary goal of this segment of the Biomarker Program.