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H3Africa AWI-Gen Collaborative Centre: a resource to study the interplay between genomic and environmental risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases in four sub-Saharan African countries

  • M. Ramsay (a1) (a2), N. Crowther (a3), E. Tambo (a1), G. Agongo (a1) (a2) (a4), V. Baloyi (a5), S. Dikotope (a6), X. Gómez-Olivé (a7), N. Jaff (a3) (a8), H. Sorgho (a9), R. Wagner (a7), C. Khayeka-Wandabwa (a10), A. Choudhury (a1), S. Hazelhurst (a1) (a11), K. Kahn (a7) (a12), Z. Lombard (a1) (a2), F. Mukomana (a1), C. Soo (a1), H. Soodyall (a2), A. Wade (a7), S. Afolabi (a7), I. Agorinya (a4), L. Amenga-Etego (a4), S. A. Ali (a1), J. D. Bognini (a9), R. P. Boua (a9), C. Debpuur (a4), S. Diallo (a9), E. Fato (a4), A. Kazienga (a9), S. Z. Konkobo (a9), P. M. Kouraogo (a9), F. Mashinya (a6), L. Micklesfield (a5), S. Nakanabo-Diallo (a9), B. Njamwea (a10), E. Nonterah (a4), S. Ouedraogo (a9), V. Pillay (a1) (a2), A. M. Somande (a9), P. Tindana (a4), R. Twine (a7), M. Alberts (a6), C. Kyobutungi (a10), S. A. Norris (a5), A. R. Oduro (a4), H. Tinto (a9), S. Tollman (a7) (a12) and O. Sankoh (a8) (a12) (a13)...

Abstract

Africa is experiencing a rapid increase in adult obesity and associated cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs). The H3Africa AWI-Gen Collaborative Centre was established to examine genomic and environmental factors that influence body composition, body fat distribution and CMD risk, with the aim to provide insights towards effective treatment and intervention strategies. It provides a research platform of over 10 500 participants, 40–60 years old, from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Following a process that involved community engagement, training of project staff and participant informed consent, participants were administered detailed questionnaires, anthropometric measurements were taken and biospecimens collected. This generated a wealth of demographic, health history, environmental, behavioural and biomarker data. The H3Africa SNP array will be used for genome-wide association studies. AWI-Gen is building capacity to perform large epidemiological, genomic and epigenomic studies across several African counties and strives to become a valuable resource for research collaborations in Africa.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: M. Ramsay, Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 9 Jubilee Road, Parktown, 2050, South Africa. (Email: michele.ramsay@wits.ac.za) and O. Sankoh, INDEPTH Network, 38 & 40 Mensah Wood Street, East Legon, Accra, Ghana. (Email: osman.sankoh@indepth-network.org)

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Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics
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