The Malaysian Cohort: The Follow-up Phase

The Malaysian Cohort project was started as a top-down project by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation in 2005 to build a resource for research to identify risk factors as well as for biomarker discovery for chronic diseases including cancers. The project is similar to many cohort projects in developed nations including the UK Biobank, the Japanese Cohort Study, the Taiwan Biobank and the Singapore Life Gene project. In fact, TMC is a member of the Asia Cohort Consortium since 2006.

The project has successfully completed the recruitment of 106,527 participants in September 2012. The baseline data has been published and the prevalence for Type 2 diabetes, impaired fasting glucose, hypertension, obesity and hypercholesterolemia is 16.6%, 10.4%, 46.5%, 17.7% and 75.7% respectively (Jamal et al, 2014).

The Cohort Biobank, which has 50 freezers (minus 80oC) and 35 liquid nitrogen tanks is the largest of its kind in South-East Asia.
The project has entered the follow-up phase and has now completed the follow-up of more than 26,000 participants. At the follow-up stage, each participant undergoes the same assessment as at recruitment, including the biophysical measurement and also blood and urine collection.
Many research projects, including data mining and analysis, are now being conducted on both the data and also the biospecimens.