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The Botnia study

The Botnia study was initiated in 1990 on the western coast of Finland in the Gulf of Bothnia with the aim to:

  1. Characterize the early metabolic defects in individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  2. Identify genetic variants predisposing to type 2 diabetes
  3. Study how the identified genetic markers and biomarkers can predict the development of type 2 diabetes and progression of the disease
  4. Identify means to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

The Ostrobothnia region was selected on the basis of:

  1. Botnia represents a homogenous Swedish-speaking population that shares a genetic background with Scandinavia and Finland
  2. A majority of family members were still living in the region and thus available for study
  3. It has a well-organized health care system that supported our plans
  4. We had previous positive experience of working with people in the region

In the Botnia study all individuals with known type 2 diabetes attending five health centers (Närpes, Malax-Korsnäs, Korsholm, Jakobstad and Vasa) were invited to participate. All type 2 diabetic patients who had at least two living first-degree relatives were invited to participate in further studies. All first-degree relatives of these patients, as well as a random subset of non-diabetic spouses, were invited.