BMJ open 2018 03 278(3) e018324 doi 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018324
The prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is increasing worldwide. NCDs are the leading cause of both morbidity and mortality, and it is estimated that by 2030, they will be responsible for 80% of deaths across the world. The Genomes for Life (GCAT) project is a long-term prospective cohort study that was designed to integrate and assess the role of epidemiological, genomic and epigenomic factors in the development of major chronic diseases in Catalonia, a north-east region of Spain.
At the end of 2017, the GCAT Study will have recruited 20 000 participants aged 40-65 years. Participants who agreed to take part in the study completed a self-administered computer-driven questionnaire, and underwent blood pressure, cardiac frequency and anthropometry measurements. For each participant, blood plasma, blood serum and white blood cells are collected at baseline. The GCAT Study has access to the electronic health records of the Catalan Public Healthcare System. Participants will be followed biannually at least 20 years after recruitment.
FINDINGS TO DATE
Among all GCAT participants, 59.2% are women and 83.3% of the cohort identified themselves as Caucasian/white. More than half of the participants have higher education levels, 72.2% are current workers and 42.1% are classified as overweight (body mass index ≥25 and <30 kg/m). We have genotyped 5459 participants, of which 5000 have metabolome data. Further, the whole genome of 808 participants will be sequenced by the end of 2017. FUTURE PLANS
The first follow-up study started in December 2017 and will end by March 2018. Residences of all subjects will be geocoded during the following year. Several genomic analyses are ongoing, and metabolomic and genomic integrations will be performed to identify underlying genetic variants, as well as environmental factors that influence metabolites.