NEW STUDY

European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 67-77

LifeGene—a large prospective population-based study of global relevance

  • Catarina AlmqvistAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska InstitutetAstrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital Email author 
  • , Hans-Olov AdamiAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska InstitutetDepartment of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health
  • , Paul W. FranksAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health & Clinical Medicine, Section for Medicine, Umeå University Hospital SwedenDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Unit, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University
  • , Leif GroopAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Sciences, Diabetes and Endocrinology Unit, Lund University
  • , Erik IngelssonAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet
  • , Juha KereAffiliated withDepartment of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet
  • , Lauren LissnerAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg
  • , Jan-Eric LittonAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet
  • , Markus MaeurerAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska InstitutetDepartment of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska InstitutetSwedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control
    • , Karl MichaëlssonAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska InstitutetDepartment of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University
    • , Juni PalmgrenAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska InstitutetDepartment of Mathematical Statistics, Stockholm University
    • , Göran PershagenAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska InstitutetInstitute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet
    • , Alexander PlonerAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet
    • , Patrick F. SullivanAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska InstitutetDepartment of Genetics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • , Gunnel TybringAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet
    • , Nancy L. PedersenAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet Email author 

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Abstract

Studying gene-environment interactions requires that the amount and quality of the lifestyle data is comparable to what is available for the corresponding genomic data. Sweden has several crucial prerequisites for comprehensive longitudinal biomedical research, such as the personal identity number, the universally available national health care system, continuously updated population and health registries and a scientifically motivated population. LifeGene builds on these strengths to bridge the gap between basic research and clinical applications with particular attention to populations, through a unique design in a research-friendly setting. LifeGene is designed both as a prospective cohort study and an infrastructure with repeated contacts of study participants approximately every 5 years. Index persons aged 18–45 years old will be recruited and invited to include their household members (partner and any children). A comprehensive questionnaire addressing cutting-edge research questions will be administered through the web with short follow-ups annually. Biosamples and physical measurements will also be collected at baseline, and re-administered every 5 years thereafter. Event-based sampling will be a key feature of LifeGene. The household-based design will give the opportunity to involve young couples prior to and during pregnancy, allowing for the first study of children born into cohort with complete pre-and perinatal data from both the mother and father. Questions and sampling schemes will be tailored to the participants’ age and life events. The target of LifeGene is to enrol 500,000 Swedes and follow them longitudinally for at least 20 years.

Keywords

Biobank Cohort study Epidemiology Prospective study Questionnaires Population genetics