What is the Biobank?




Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and also the cause of 17% of hospitalizations in Canada. This situation creates a heavy tax burden on all of Quebec and the whole country. The major known risk factors for cardiovascular disease—smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, poor eating habits, obesity—continue to be widespread among Canadians.

According to healthcare providers, adopting a healthy lifestyle is the number one way to keep your heart in shape. But what about genetic factors? Do they have a real impact? If, despite their best efforts, your loved ones still suffer from heart problems, what can be done to help?

The Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) is a leader in preventive medicine in Canada. In 2007, thanks to
Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif
, director of the Research Centre, professor of medicine and holder of the Pfizer Chair in atherosclerosis at the Université de Montréal, the MHI put together one of the clinical research projects most ambitious and innovative to date: the Hospital Genetics Cohort or Biobank, which aims to explore the relationship between genes and cardiovascular disease.

What is the Biobank?

The Biobank project collects the DNA, plasma and red blood cells of participants through blood samples. Medical, dietary, psychosocial and lifestyle data are also gathered. What makes the Biobank unique is that personal information is updated every four years and participants are tracked throughout their lives.

Our goal is to recruit 30,000 participants, and so far we already have over 20,000. With these numbers, our hospital cohort study will be among the largest in the world.

For now, most participants are MHI patients, but anyone else can also take part.

Give today to help people tomorrow

This cohort study links genetic data and biomarkers with clinical information on participants. If genetic phenomena associated with cardiovascular disease are better understood, diagnoses can be faster and more precise and treatment more personalized. Thanks to the Biobank, the MHI is extending a helping hand to future generations.

Watch a video about the Biobank.