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

Int J Epidemiol. 2015 Aug;44(4):1137-47. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyt268. Epub 2014 Feb 11.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biological Specimen Banks / trends*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Estonia
  • Female
  • Genome, Human / genetics*
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases / standards*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health
  • Young Adult