Genomes for Life. Cohort Study of the Genomes of Catalonia (GCAT)

The GCAT is a population-based multi-purpose cohort aimed to identify genomic, epigenomic, environmental and lifestyle factors as well as their interactions implicated in the development of cancer and other multi-factorial chronic diseases with complex inheritance (e.g. cardiovascular, respiratory, autoimmune, neurological or metabolic diseases). Follow-up starts mid-2016 and will involve active follow-up, and linking to personal electronic registries from public health care data system registries, which will allow determining health outcomes, prescription drug use, and other endpoints. At baseline, genomic BBMRI-LPC Study Description Form 2 profiles will be obtained from 6000 volunteers focusing on a certain number of areas of interest (i.e. Cancer, Vascular disease,…), but this focus will evolve throughout the life of the Project. Whole genome sequencing data will be obtained from 1001 participants, and 5000 individuals, currently, characterized by comprehensive array genotyping of 2 million SNPs variants. Finally, genomic profiles will be linked to personal health registers to perform the clinical interpretation. 

General Information

General Design

Study design: 
Cohort study
General Information on Follow Up (profile and frequency): 

The active follow-up, death registry linkage, national health records will start in April 2016.

Recruitment target: 
Target number of participants: 
50 000
Target number of participants with biological samples: 
50 000
Supplementary information about target number of participants: 

7 123 participants have been recruited as of September 2015. The GCAT study collected the following biospecimen at baseline: 

  • Blood: 7 123 participants
  • Plasma: 7 123 participants
  • Serum: 7 123 participants
  • DNA: 6 323 participants


Access to external researchers or third parties provided or foreseen for
Data (questionnaire-derived, measured...): 
Biological samples: 

Supplementary Information

Recorded disease endpoints:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Other endpoints: asthma, psoriasis, allergy


Supplementary information on access to biosamples:

Eligibility - the following categories of users are authorised: .

  • Researchers from the academic sector (e.g., universities, research institutes);
  • Researchers from the public sector (e.g., public institutions conducting research such as ministries, government agencies,
  • hospitals);
  • Researchers from the private sector (e.g., private institutions such as industrial or commercial businesses);
  • Researchers whose research project has received approval by a recognized research ethics board

Review procedure - criteria considered to review access requests:

  • Scientific merit of proposed study (clarity, novelty and scientific excellence);
  • Ethical requirements;
  • Qualifications of applicant;
  • Applicant’s privacy and confidentiality policy and security measures;
  • Compatibility of proposed study with the cohort’s/biobank’s objectives;
  • Overlapping initiatives between proposed study and studies already approved;
  • Adequacy of applicant’s resources to carry out the proposed project;
  • Quantity of samples requested;
  • Impact on future uses of data and samples;

​Access conditions:

  • Cooperation
  • Co-authorship
  • Access fees/cost recovery
  • Different access fees/cost recovery for academia and industry
  • Intellectual property of findings from resources of the individual biobank /study
  • Return data to the individual biobank / study in order to increase the scientific value of samples
  • Return results to the individual biobank / study to enable feedback to participants (aggregate or individual)
  • Patent sharing
  • Public service (no charge)



Study Timeline

Each colour in the timeline graph below represents a separate Study Population, while each segment in the graph represents a separate Data Collection Event. Clicking on a segment gives more detailed information on a Data Collection Event.
  • GCAT population


GCAT population

Volunteers from the general population, residents in Catalonia Country (NE Spain), between 40-65 years of age.

Selection criteria: 
Minimum 40, maximum 65



Public Health Care System Users

Catalan or Spanish speakers

Sources of recruitment: 
General population:
Volunteer enrolment
Other Source:
Other Source
Number of participants: 
50 000 participants
Number of participants with biological samples: 
50 000 participants
Supplementary information about number of participants: 

A sub sample of 5 000 individuals with genomic information from a SNP array analysis containing 2 million variants will be available middle 2016. A sample of 1000 individuals with Genome Wide Sequence will be available at the end next year.

Data Collection Events:
Baseline (GCAT)

Biological and Physical measures, Health and...

2014 (April)2017 (December)


Authorization from contributors to the BbmriLpc.IARC Catalogues: 
Rafael de Cid authorised the contribution to BbmriLpc.IARC on Tuesday, September 22, 2015