Qatar has developed the most advanced population cohort study in the region and stands parallel with some of the best and most established biobanks in the world. The study, while playing an important role in the development of precision medicine within Qatar, also aims to be a national reference database for research conducted on the Arab population. Researchers can access the extensive data catalogue with data collected on topics that range from health and lifestyle to mental health and genetic risk factors along with over 16 clinical measurements and biological samples, which result in clinical analysis on over 77 biomarkers. Unlike many other biobanks, participants are not recruited through clinic or hospital services but come from campaigns using social media or recruitment drives, with over 25,000 participants recruited to date. One of the attractions for the population in participating with Qatar Biobank is the feedback and referral service that has been established. Over 54% of participants required a referral for either an existing condition (18%) or 81% were for a new or unknown condition. An overall review of the data collected up until June 2019 showed that the most common conditions requiring referral included abnormal bone mineral density at 44%, which is identified by a combination of IDXA scan T score results and Vitamin D levels. Dyslipidemia at 14% and closely followed by 13% of the Qatar Biobank population for diabetes. Other results commonly being referred include abnormal thyroid function tests at 11.0% and osteoporosis at 6%. These feedback results emphasize the importance of the work being conducted by Qatar Biobank.


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