We describe the design, implementation, and results of the Qatar Biobank (QBB) cohort study for the first 10,000 participants. QBB is a prospective, population-based cohort study in Qatar, established in 2012. QBB's primary goal was to establish a cohort accessible to the local and international scientific community, providing adequate health data and biological samples to enable evidence-based research. The study design is based on an agnostic hypothesis, collecting data using questionnaires, biological samples, imaging data, and -omics. QBB aims to recruit 60,000 participants, men and women, adult (aged ≥18 years) Qataris or long-term residents (≥15 years living in Qatar) and follow up with them every 5 years. Currently, QBB has reached 28% (n = 17,065) of the targeted enrollee population and more than 2 million biological samples. QBB is a multinational cohort including 33 different nationalities, with a relatively young population (mean age, 40.5 years) of persons who are highly educated (50% university-educated) and have high monthly incomes. The 4 main noncommunicable diseases found among the QBB population are dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, and asthma with prevalences of 30.1%, 17.4%, 16.8%, and 9.1%, respectively. The QBB repository can provide data and biological samples sufficient to demonstrate valid associations between genetic and/or environmental exposure and disease development to scientists worldwide.
Keywords: Middle East; Qatar Biobank; noncommunicable diseases; population-based cohort study; research platform.
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