Qatar Biobank has been created in order to enable medical research on genetic diseases that affect the local population. The Biobank aims to collect samples from the general population of Qatar as well as information on health and lifestyle factors as an initial step. The Biobank is the most ambitious national health initiative undertaken in the country with the ultimate objective of preventing, improving teh diagnosis, and treatment of genetic or complex diseases in addition to understanding how lifestyle factors affect development of disease in this population.
The baseline information from 60,000 adults will be collected by 2019 and will encompass many phenotypic characteristics, including sociodemographic information, physical measures, health and lifestyle factors, medical history, and blood measurements. The participants will be followed up for an average of 5 years for development of diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenrative diseases. In addition, the data from the biobank will be retrspectively linked to participants’ medical records in order to elucidate any relationship between phenotypes and genotypes. The wealth of data from the Qatar Biobank will be made available to local researchers, after an approved application.