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The aim of the Avera Twin Register (ATR) is to establish a prospective longitudinal repository of twins, multiples, siblings and family members’ biological samples to study environmental and genetic influences on health and disease. Also, it is our intention to contribute to international genome-wide association study (GWAS) twin consortia when appropriate sample size is achieved within the ATR. The ATR is young compared with existing registers and continues to collect a longitudinal repository of biological specimens, survey data and health information. Data and biological specimens were originally collected via face-to-face appointments or the postal department and consisted of paper-informed consents and questionnaires. Enrollment of the ATR began on May 18, 2016 and is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a rural and frontier area in the Central United States with a regional population of approximately 880,000. The original target area for the ATR was South Dakota and the four surrounding states: Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and Nebraska. The ATR has found a need to expand that area based on twin and multiple siblings who live in various areas surrounding these states. A description of the state of the ATR today and its transition to online data collection and informed consent will be presented. The ATR collects longitudinal data on lifestyle, including diet and activity levels, aging, plus complex traits and diseases. All twins and multiples participating in the ATR are genotyped on the Illumina Global Screening Array and receive zygosity results.
The Avera Twin Register (ATR) aims to study environmental and genetic influences on health and disease using a longitudinal repository of biological specimens, survey data, and health information provided by multiples and their family members. The ATR is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is a rural and frontier area in the Midwestern United States with a density of four people per square kilometer. The target area of the ATR is South Dakota and the four surrounding states: Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, and Nebraska. Enrollment of twins and higher-order multiples of all ages and their family members started on May 18, 2016. A description of the first 13 months of enrollment in this longitudinal register will be provided. The ATR will collect longitudinal data on lifestyle, including diet and activity levels, aging, complex traits, and diseases. Upon registration, all participants are genotyped on the Illumina Global Screening Array (GSA) and twins and higher order multiples receive information on their zygosity. The ATR aims to contribute to large international GWAS consortia and collaborates closely with the Netherlands Twin Register, allowing for the comparison of collected data and analyses of results. In addition, the ATR will address twin-specific questions.