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Int J Epidemiol DOI:10.1093/ije/dyt268

Cohort Profile: Estonian Biobank of the Estonian Genome Center, University of Tartu.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLeitsalu, L, Haller, T, Esko, T, Tammesoo, M-L, Alavere, H, Snieder, H, Perola, M, Ng, PC, Mägi, R, Milani, L, Fischer, K, Metspalu, A
JournalInt J Epidemiol
Date Published2015 Aug
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Biological Specimen Banks, Cohort Studies, Databases, Factual, Estonia, Female, Genome, Human, Humans, International Classification of Diseases, Life Style, Male, Middle Aged, Public Health, Young Adult

The Estonian Biobank cohort is a volunteer-based sample of the Estonian resident adult population (aged ≥18 years). The current number of participants-close to 52000--represents a large proportion, 5%, of the Estonian adult population, making it ideally suited to population-based studies. General practitioners (GPs) and medical personnel in the special recruitment offices have recruited participants throughout the country. At baseline, the GPs performed a standardized health examination of the participants, who also donated blood samples for DNA, white blood cells and plasma tests and filled out a 16-module questionnaire on health-related topics such as lifestyle, diet and clinical diagnoses described in WHO ICD-10. A significant part of the cohort has whole genome sequencing (100), genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array data (20 000) and/or NMR metabolome data (11 000) available ( The data are continuously updated through periodical linking to national electronic databases and registries. A part of the cohort has been re-contacted for follow-up purposes and resampling, and targeted invitations are possible for specific purposes, for example people with a specific diagnosis. The Estonian Genome Center of the University of Tartu is actively collaborating with many universities, research institutes and consortia and encourages fellow scientists worldwide to co-initiate new academic or industrial joint projects with us.


Alternate JournalInt J Epidemiol
PubMed ID24518929