Establishment of the Avera Twin Register in the Midwest USA

Julie Kittelsrud, Erik A Ehli, Vikki Petersen, Tammy Jung, Gonneke Willemsen, Dorret Boomsma, Gareth E Davies

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The Avera Twin Register (ATR) aims to study environmental and genetic influences on health and disease using a longitudinal repository of biological specimens, survey data, and health information provided by multiples and their family members. The ATR is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is a rural and frontier area in the Midwestern United States with a density of four people per square kilometer. The target area of the ATR is South Dakota and the four surrounding states: Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, and Nebraska. Enrollment of twins and higher-order multiples of all ages and their family members started on May 18, 2016. A description of the first 13 months of enrollment in this longitudinal register will be provided. The ATR will collect longitudinal data on lifestyle, including diet and activity levels, aging, complex traits, and diseases. Upon registration, all participants are genotyped on the Illumina Global Screening Array (GSA) and twins and higher order multiples receive information on their zygosity. The ATR aims to contribute to large international GWAS consortia and collaborates closely with the Netherlands Twin Register, allowing for the comparison of collected data and analyses of results. In addition, the ATR will address twin-specific questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-418
Number of pages5
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Issue number5
Early online date22 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Journal Article

Cohort Studies

  • Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)


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