Access to Biobank
Estonian Biobank (EstBB) is a population-based biobank at the Institute of Genomics, University of Tartu. The main research directions of the EstBB have been to understand the role of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors in health and disease. All activities at the EstBB are conducted according to the Estonian Human Genes Research Act (HGRA). All participants have signed a broad informed consent, allowing researchers to use of their health and genomics data for various studies upon approval by the Estonian Committee on Bioethics and Human Research. The HGRA enables re-contacting and interviewing biobank participants, and the rules to access data and samples are clear and transparent.
The current cohort size is 200,000 individuals (genotyped with genome-wide arrays), reflecting the age, sex and geographical distribution of the adult Estonian population. Estonians represent 83%, Russians 14%, and other nationalities 3% of all participants. All subjects have been recruited randomly by general practitioners (GP) and physicians in hospitals. The participants are individuals who have joined the Estonian Biobank after hearing about it during promotion events, media, friends, etc. or visiting GP offices or hospitals for other reasons. Upon recruitment, all participants completed a questionnaire, including data about their health status, life-style and diet. The questionnaire includes personal data (place of birth, place(s) of living, nationality etc.), genealogical data (family history of medical conditions spanning four generations), educational and occupational history, lifestyle data (physical activity, dietary habits - FFQ, smoking, alcohol consumption, women’s health, quality of life).
The EstBB database is regularly linked with national registries (such as Cancer Registry and Causes of Death Registry), hospital databases, and the database of the national health insurance fund, which holds treatment and service bills. Diseases and health problems are recorded as ICD-10 codes and prescribed medicine according to the ATC classification. OMOP mapping of data under preparation.
EstBB has generated 2500 whole genome and 2500 whole exome sequences, which have been used to build a population-specific imputation reference and enhance clinical interpretation of patient data. In addition, NMR metabolomics (N=11 000), RNA-Seq (N=500), DNA methylation (N=1000), clinical biochemistry (N=2700), and Olink proteomics analysis for 340 proteins (N=500) has been performed. EstBB has participated in several studies implying the importance of gut microbiota.
A brief overview of the data in EstBB:
- 200,000 genotyped,
- 3000 WGS,
- 2500 WES,
- 11,000 metabolomics,
- 1000 proteomics,
- 1000 transcriptomics,
- 2500 metagenomics.
We are open to both academic and industry cooperation to enable scientific discoveries and improve human health. EstBB provides data for researchers to meet the challenge of greater understanding, prevention, and treatment of a range of different diseases.