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 (http://www.geenivaramu.ee/for-scientists/data-release/). 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.
© The Author 2014; all rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association.