Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery 2019; 32(01): 008-015
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1673349
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Use of the Rochester Epidemiology Project for Clinical Research in Colon and Rectal Surgery

Amy L. Lightner
1  Department of Colorectal Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
Robert Cima
2  Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
08 January 2019 (online)


The Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP), a longitudinal population-based database, is the largest epidemiologic database in the world. Originally established at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the REP has been instrumental in defining the natural history of disease states and the impact of treatment in a well-defined population. In the United States, the REP has made important contributions to the colon and rectal literature, largely because healthcare is fragmented with no unique identifier to longitudinally follow-up with a patient throughout the system over his or her lifespan. Investigation with the REP has provided insight to the economic burden associated with inflammatory bowel disease, the benefit of screening for colorectal cancer, and the natural history of Mekel's and diverticular disease. In addition to practice changing research, the REP can be used as a model for future linkage systems in the United States.