Qatar Biobank recently welcomed its 10,000th participant, a major milestone in the medical health research initiative’s history. By reaching this significant number, Qatar Biobank is strongly advancing its mission to improve the health of the local population.
Launched in 2012, Qatar Biobank, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, is a population-based initiative in which volunteer participants provide biological samples and information on their health history and lifestyle. Through these samples, Qatar Biobank enables medical researchers and healthcare professionals to gain a clearer picture of health issues facing Qatar and the region.
Qatar Biobank welcomes Qataris over the age of 18, and adult expatriates who have lived in Qatar for at least 15 years, to take part in this pioneering medical research endeavour.
Researchers have already been able to use Qatar Biobank’s samples to gain important insights into the health of the local population, including the discovery of high levels of diabetes, obesity, and vitamin D deficiency. These findings will enable researchers to make recommendations to healthcare providers and policy-makers to better tailor their actions to address specific conditions.
A visit to the Qatar Biobank includes standard medical tests such as blood pressure and lung function. However, the tests carried out by Qatar Biobank also include new screenings that are not included in other large-scale biobanks, including advanced imaging techniques to measure whole-body composition and the health of carotid arteries, and a treadmill test to measure physical fitness.
All participants have the opportunity to receive feedback approximately two weeks after the initial visit, though Qatar Biobank immediately notifies participants who are found to have serious or life-threatening conditions. If necessary, participants will be referred to an appropriate clinic within Hamad Medical Corporation for further diagnosis or treatment.
Qatar Biobank’s main facility in Hamad Medical City recently expanded its capacity by 50 percent, enabling more visitors to pass through the approximately three-hour process each day.
For more information about Qatar Biobank, please visit: www.qatarbiobank.org.qa/home
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