Epidemiology and the control of disease in China, with emphasis on the Chinese Biobank Study.
Li L., Guo Y., Chen Z., Chen J., Peto R.
Similar to many other developing countries, China is facing a double burden of disease as a result of epidemiological transition. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) represent a major challenge, having an adverse effect on the health of the Chinese population and increasing the economic burden of health care. In today's era of evidence-based medicine and decision making, China, as a developing country, has a lack of local scientific evidence which will affect the effectiveness of NCD prevention and control. As such, and on the basis of decades of cooperation and trust with the University of Oxford, the Chinese Biobank Study [Kadoorie Study of Chronic Disease in China (KSCDC)] was commenced in 2004. KSCDC, an international prospective project, aims to establish the basis of a blood-based health database, using genetic, environmental and lifestyle aspects to investigate and understand the causes, risk factors, pathogenesis, prevalence patterns and trends of major chronic diseases in China (such as stroke, coronary heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease etc.). This study has a duration of 15-20 years, and will provide scientific evidence for strategic planning of NCD prevention and control, and development of new treatment and intervention approaches. In total, approximately 510,000 adults aged 30-79 years have been recruited from the general population in 10 geographically defined regions (five rural and five urban) of China, with differing disease profiles and differing risk exposures. Extensive data collection has been undertaken with questionnaires, physical measurements, and collection and storage of blood samples. KSCDC is a multi-factor, multi-disease, multi-disciplinary large-scale chronic disease epidemiological study, and is also one of the largest long-term blood-based population cohort studies ever conducted in the world. It is worth mentioning that all gene specimens are kept in China, and all associated intellectual property rights are owned by international cooperation groups; this breaks new ground for Chinese and foreign international cooperation. This article describes the study design, baseline description and main results to date.