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Scotland to Recruit 50,000 Individuals for Genetic Health Project

NEW YORK, Dec. 23 (GenomeWeb News) - The Scottish Executive, the executive arm of the Scottish Parliament, today announced that it has awarded £4.4 million ($8.4 million) to launch a national project to assess genetic predisposition to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, and mental health.


The project, called the Genetic Health Initiative, will be carried out by five Scottish medical schools and will eventually recruit a cohort of 50,000 individuals, aged 35-55 years, over five years.


Today's funding supports a three-year feasibility study that will recruit 15,000 individuals.


Researchers will gather demographic, lifestyle, and clinical information along with information on the heart, blood vessel function, and wellbeing. Blood samples will be taken for biochemical tests and the assessment of genes that contribute to disease.


According to the Scottish Executive, Scotland has a number of key factors that will contribute to the success of this project: a universal National Health Service number that will allow researchers to cross-reference patients' health data; an IT system that can link health records; and software that will ensure that patient records remain anonymous.


The initial three-year study will focus on cardiovascular disease, depression, schizophrenia, and osteoporosis.

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