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The purpose of the RPGEH is to facilitate research on the genetic and environmental factors that affect health and disease by linking together clinical data from electronic health records, survey data on demographic and behavioral factors, and environmental data from various sources, with genetic data from biospecimens collected from participants. At the time of the award of the RC2 project in late , the RPGEH had established a cohort of about , individuals who had answered a detailed survey, provided saliva samples for extraction of DNA, and given broad consent for the use of their data in studies of health and disease.
A total of , participant samples were included to ensure that , were successfully assayed. The sample is ethnically diverse, generally well-educated with above average incomes. Length of membership in KPNC averages Following genotyping and quality control procedures, and after removal of invalid, discordant, or withdrawn samples, about , participants were successfully genotyped. The resulting genotypic data were linked to survey data and data abstracted from the electronic medical records.
The goal in creating the RPGEH GERA cohort was to create a large, multiethnic, and comprehensive population-based resource for research into the genetic and environmental basis of common age-related diseases and their treatment, and factors influencing healthy aging and longevity. KPNC is an integrated health care delivery system with a population of about 3. The membership of KPNC is representative of the general population in the 14 county area in which facilities are located, although the membership is underrepresented for the extremes of income at both ends of the spectrum.
The RPGEH utilizes the longitudinal electronic health records EHR of KPNC to obtain clinical, laboratory, imaging and pharmacy information on all cohort members, to which personal demographic, behavioral and health characteristics have been added through member surveys. The RPGEH cohort includes about , survey participants of whom about , have provided broad consent and a sample of saliva or blood for use in studies of genetic and environmental factors in health and disease. All survey respondents were contacted and asked to complete a consent form; those who completed consent forms were asked to provide a saliva sample.
Specifically, all minority participants were selected for inclusion in order to maximize representation of minorities in the GERA Cohort, and Non-Hispanic White participants were selected at random to complete the sample of , GERA Cohort participants. There was broad overlap among the SNPs on the arrays, which were designed using a hybrid greedy imputation algorithm Hoffmann et al.