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Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Cardiovascular Risk: Lessons From North Karelia and FINRISK

Author:

Veikko Salomaa

National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, FI
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Abstract

Systematic collection of DNA samples started in FINRISK during the 1992 survey and has continued in all surveys since then. At the moment, FINRISK has DNA, careful phenotyping at baseline, and prospective follow-up for incident disease for about 34,000 participants. These data have been used for genome-wide association studies by contributing to numerous large international consortia, mainly focused on cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors. In parallel, genomic data from FINRISK have been used for cardiovascular risk estimation, and our constantly improving knowledge of cardiovascular disease risk variants generates promising prospects in this field. The isolated nature of the Finnish population and recent bottlenecks in our population history, particularly in eastern Finland, provide certain advantages for sequencing studies. The power to detect low-frequency variants is stronger in isolated populations, like those in eastern Finland, than in more admixed populations. Together with country-wide and reliable electronic health records, this provides a resource that is currently widely utilized in whole exome and whole genome sequencing studies.

Highlights

  • FINRISK has DNA and prospective follow-up for about 34,000 individuals.
  • These have been used in numerous genome-wide association (GWA) studies.
  • The isolated nature of the Finnish population is an advantage in sequencing studies.
How to Cite: Salomaa V. Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Cardiovascular Risk: Lessons From North Karelia and FINRISK. Global Heart. 2016;11(2):229–33. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gheart.2016.04.008
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Published on 01 Jun 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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