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An introduction to LifeLines DEEP: study design and baseline characteristics

By Ettje F. Tigchelaar, Alexandra Zhernakova, Jackie A.M. Dekens, Gerben Hermes, Agnieszka Baranska, Zlatan Mujagic, Morris A. Swertz, Angélica M Muñoz, Patrick Deelen, Maria C Cénit, Lude Franke, Salome Scholtens, Ronald P Stolk, Cisca Wijmenga, Edith J.M. Feskens

Posted 16 Sep 2014
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/009217 (published DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006772)

There is a critical need for population-based prospective cohort studies because they follow individuals before the onset of disease, allowing for studies that can identify biomarkers and disease-modifying effects and thereby contributing to systems epidemiology. This paper describes the design and baseline characteristics of an intensively examined subpopulation of the LifeLines cohort in the Netherlands. For this unique sub-cohort, LifeLines DEEP, additional blood (n=1387), exhaled air (n=1425), fecal samples (n=1248) and gastrointestinal health questionnaires (n=1176) were collected for analysis of the genome, epigenome, transcriptome, microbiome, metabolome and other biological levels. Here, we provide an overview of the different data layers in LifeLines DEEP and present baseline characteristics of the study population including food intake and quality of life. We also describe how the LifeLines DEEP cohort allows for the detailed investigation of genetic, genomic and metabolic variation on a wealth of phenotypic outcomes. Finally, we examine the determinants of gastrointestinal health, an area of particular interest to us that can be addressed by LifeLines DEEP.

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