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How does the study find people to participate?

The Johnston County Health Study has a community awareness campaign in many areas around the county. We reach many residents by attending community fairs, festivals, churches, and other local events to engage individuals and provide information about the study. You may see us in your community soon!

Additionally, we attempt to contact county residents by letters, emails, and telephone calls to assess eligibility and interest in the study.


What is involved for those who participate in the study?

The study involves one telephone or in-person screening questionnaire to determine if you are eligible to participate (about 15 minutes). If you are eligible, we will ask you to complete some questionnaires online or at our clinic (about 1 hour). We will also ask you to complete one visit at our Smithfield, NC clinic to provide blood and urine samples, get x-rays, complete physical function tests, and additional questionnaires (about 3 to 3 1/2 hours). We will ask you to wear a physical activity monitor (similar to a Fitbit) for a total of 1 week after leaving the clinic. Participants are compensated for their time.


Do I have to have a specific disease or condition in order to participate?

No, you do not have to have osteoarthritis, heart disease, pain, or any other conditions in order to participate in the study.


Who is eligible to participate?

We invite adults ages 35 to 70, who are African-American, Hispanic, or White and live in Johnston County, NC to see if they might be eligible to participate. Additionally, participants must speak English or Spanish fluently, to help ensure they fully understand the questions being asked in the study.


I am interested. How can I join the study?

For more information, and to find out if you might be eligible for the study, contact us by email ( or telephone (919-934-1295/English, 919-934-4327/Español).


Will my information be kept private?

Yes, a number (and not your name) will identify all of your questionnaires, clinical assessments, and samples. We use password-protected computers and secure computer connections, as well as follow strict security standards to protect all the information we collect.