Vejle Diabetes Biobank - a resource for studies of the etiologies of diabetes and its comorbidities

Clin Epidemiol. 2016 Oct 21;8:393-413. doi: 10.2147/CLEP.S113419. eCollection 2016.


Aims: Carefully designed and established biobanks are considered one of the most essential resources to foster biomedical research as they provide cost-effective and rapid access to a vast variety of biological materials and related anthropometrics allowing for testing of various biomarkers as well as numerous original and pertinent bioclinical hypotheses related to human disease etiology and prognosis. The objective of the present study was to present the baseline data, design, and methods used for the establishment of the Vejle Diabetes Biobank. Further aims included assessment of the prevalence of diabetes and quality of diabetes treatment in a specified Danish region.

Methods: The Vejle Diabetes Biobank was established from 2007 to 2010 as a regional Biobank containing blood, DNA, and urine samples from patients with diabetes and a gender- and age-matched control population aged 25-75 years. Anthropometrics were obtained by physical examination, questionnaires, and interviews at the time of inclusion into the Biobank. The cohort was linked to the Danish Civil Registration System, the Danish National Patient Registry, and the Danish National Prescription Registry.

Results: In total, 4,255 nondiabetic individuals and 3,320 patients with diabetes were included. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients had a higher body mass index (30 kg/m2) than type 1 diabetes (T1D) patients (25 and 26 kg/m2 in women and men, respectively) and control subjects (25 and 27 kg/m2 in women and men, respectively). Fasting levels of plasma triglycerides and blood pressure were higher in T2D patients (1.5 mmol/L and 148/85 mmHg, respectively) compared with T1D patients (0.9 mmol/L and 139/81 mmHg, respectively), whereas glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), plasma high density lipoprotein, low density lipoprotein, and total cholesterol were lower in T2D patients (51 mmol/mol, 1.2 mmol/L, 2.2 mmol/L, and 4.2 mmol/L, respectively) compared with findings in T1D patients (61 mmol/mol, 1.6 mmol/L, 2.3 mmol/L, and 4.4 mmol/L, respectively). At the time of inclusion into the Biobank, 56% of the T2D patients and 25% of T1D patients had an HbA1c <7% (53 mmol/mol). Only 28% and 34% of the T2D patients, respectively, reached treatment target for blood pressure and lipids.

Conclusion: The Vejle Diabetes Biobank represents one of the largest open diabetes case-control cohorts in Denmark. The Biobank invites collaborative investigations of diabetes and diabetes complication etiologies as well as studies of prognostic or predictive biomarkers.

Keywords: HbA1c; diabetes; diabetes Biobank resource; research database; type 2 diabetes.