FinnGen utilises the genome data (genetic data) generated from biobank samples and health-related data from social and healthcare registers. However, not all information that is relevant to health research is available from national registers. For this reason, FinnGen now invites 6000 participants to take part in new research sections. In these research sections, issues related to the different aspects of life are examined in more detail. These include a health and well-being survey and a collection of functional tests. Both sections can be filled in online via MyBiobank service.
This is the first time FinnGen invites participants to provide information. All invitees are over 18 years of age and live in Finland. The FinnGen study already contains the genomic and health information of each invited person, and they have authorised their biobank to contact them in their Biobank Consent. FinnGen researchers do not know the identities or contact details of the invitees and that is why the invitations are sent by the biobanks.
Using the new information gathered in these research sections, FinnGen researchers aim to understand what lifestyle factors, personal features and preferences together with genetic factors affect risk of becoming ill and the progression of possible diseases. The information collected will be combined with the information of all other participants in a secure analysis environment. In this environment, named researchers will then look for correlations between genetic data, data collected about lifestyle and personal features, and the risk of becoming ill as well as disease progression.
The research methods and questions posed in these new FinnGen research sections are the same as in other FinnGen research, namely, they are based on the statistical analysis of genetic variation and disease and health information.