If genomic studies are to be a clinically relevant and timely reflection of the relationship between genetics and health status--whether for common or rare variants--cost-effective ways must be found to measure both the genetic variation and the phenotypic characteristics of large populations, including the comprehensive and up-to-date record of their medical treatment. The adoption of electronic health records, used by clinicians to document clinical care, is becoming widespread and recent studies demonstrate that they can be effectively employed for genetic studies using the informational and biological 'by-products' of health-care delivery while maintaining patient privacy.
We tested this hypothesis in two non-diabetic population-based cohorts, the first from southern Sweden and the second from the Botnia region of western Finland.
In total 2,511 Finnish and 15,925 Swedish non-diabetic middle-aged adults were genotyped for the FTO rs9939609 variant. Phy...
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