Researchers in Scotland are planning to recruit 50,000 people as a part of a large study called as Generation Scotland. The study aims to examine the relationship between lifestyle and genetics as regards the health of an individual.
The study is to be spread over two decades and is one of the largest healthcare projects in the UK. Doctors say that they are hoping to create a large pool of information so that it would be easy to assess who is at risk for commonly prevailing conditions like heart disease, cancer and mental illness. "We need to understand how people's genes work with environmental issues such as diet and smoking, and why some people develop certain problems while others remain healthy," said Professor Andrew Morris from Dundee University, who is chairman of the Generation Scotland scientific committee. "We are delighted that after years of careful preparation we are in a position to create a uniquely Scottish resource of the highest international standing, which has the potential to shape everyday clinical care and modern public health strategies." The Scottish Executive and the Scottish Funding Council are jointly funding this study, which is expected to last two-and-a-half years in the first phase at a cost of £6.2 million. Scottish Health Minister Andy Kerr was enthusiastic about the project, "If we can identify groups of people at risk of particular conditions, such as heart disease, osteoporosis or mental illness, we can give them the support they need early in life to avoid problems," he said. People can register for the project at the Generation Scotland website.