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Orkney Complex Disease Study - ORCADES

About the cohort

Start date: March 2005
Age at recruitment: 16-100
Sample size at recruitment: 2080
Estimated current sample size: 2080

The Orkney Complex Disease Study (ORCADES) is a genetic epidemiology study based in an isolated population in the north of Scotland. Participants are volunteers with two or more grandparents from Orkney. It aims to discover the genes and variants in them which influence risk factors for common, complex diseases such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, glaucoma, chronic kidney and lung disease. The very rich data make it a platform resource for health and disease research. Participants are linked to hospital admissions, cancer registrations and deaths. Whole genome scans are available for all, and whole exome and genome sequence on a subset. Longitudinal data is available by linkage to NHS medical records.

Core funders

  • Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government
  • Royal Society
  • Arthritis Research Campaign 
  • Medical Research Council



Principle investigator: Professor James F Wilson

Address: Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government, Royal Society, Arthritis Research Campaign, Medical Research Council


Page last updated: 21 Jul 2015


  • Gender: Male, Female
  • Sample size: 0-4,999
  • Age: 10 to 19, 20 to 39, 40 to 59, 60 to 100
  • Anthropometric: Height, Weight, Waist circumference, Hip circumference, Blood pressure
  • Physical: Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Musculoskeletal, Hearing and vision, Reproductive
  • Psychological: Cognitive function
  • Lifestyle: Smoking, Physical activity, Dietary habits, Alcohol
  • Socio-economic: Occupation, Family circumstances, Housing, Education, Ethnic group, Marital status
  • Biological samples: Blood, Other