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Medical ethics

Blood samples that were given to be used in the study of genetic aspects of health are fully anonymised and stored in secure laboratories with restricted access.  Ethical approval has been granted for genetic studies of lifelong health, disease and ageing, such studies can only be conducted if they are approved by a scientific advisory committee.

One of the conditions set by the Medical Ethics Committee when the study was given approval was that there should be no feedback of genetic results to individuals participants. This is because the genotyping undertaken is for research purposes only and is not equivalent to the specific genetic tests that are arranged for patients through the NHS genetic counselling service. Our results apply to groups in the population rather than being predictive of individual genetic risk. We are not ethically allowed to undertake genetic tests of known clinical or predictive value.