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The Italian Twin Register: New Cohorts and Tools, Current Projects and Future Perspectives of a Developing Resource

  • Corrado Fagnani (a1), Sonia Brescianini (a2), Sonia Cotichini (a3), Cristina D'Ippolito (a4), Tatjana Dukic (a5), Lorenzo Giannantonio (a6), Emanuela Medda (a7), Lorenza Nisticò (a8), Valeria Patriarca (a9), Simonetta Pulciani (a10), Daniela Rotondi (a11), Virgilia Toccaceli (a12) and Maria Antonietta Stazi (a13)...

Abstract

Since its start as a database of ‘possible twins’, the Italian Twin Register has developed remarkably in terms of twin approach and recruitment, data-management tools, the cohorts enrolled, and the breadth of information gathered, making the Italian Twin Register a valuable resource for genetic epidemiological research. The Italian Twin Register is a random population of twins at both the national level and within targeted geographical areas or birth cohorts. Further, the Register is linked with disease records and has recently implemented a web-based method for volunteer twin recruitment specifically designed to promote the Register and to disseminate information on genetic epidemiology. To date, approximately 9000 twins have joined the Italian Twin Register, the majority of whom (approximately 70%) represent young adults aged 20 at time of enrolment. Although the total number of twins recruited to date is far below the expected figure initially predicted, the newly established standardized procedures guarantee an increase of around 2000 twins each year. Following the collaboration between the Italian Twin Register and the main Italian nonprofit association for blood donors, twin DNA sampling and storage has recently accelerated contributing to the large amount of phenotypic data collected. The Italian Twin Register is currently involved in both population and clinical based studies on various complex pheno-types and diseases, some conducted within large European consortia.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Corrado Fagnani, National Center for Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Rome, Italy.
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Twin Research and Human Genetics
  • ISSN: 1832-4274
  • EISSN: 1839-2628
  • URL: /core/journals/twin-research-and-human-genetics
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