Description of measurements

Here is some further detailed information on the series of tests you will undergo as part of your participation with Qatar Biobank. The series of tests are all non-invasive and will take place at the Qatar Biobank center in a number of dedicated rooms that will be clean, safe, comfortable, and private. All of the tests are entirely optional and you will be provided a gown to wear for all of the measurements.

Height measurement

You will be asked to remove your shoes and stand against a wall so that we can measure your height both while standing and sitting.


Weight and body fat measurement

You will be asked to remove your shoes and stand on a weighing scale so that we can measure your weight. At the same time, the machine will electronically determine the fat composition of your body.


Blood Pressure measurement

You will be seated and we will place a measurement cuff around your arm. The cuff is inflated and then the cuff is gradually deflated. The machine measures your blood pressure by detecting your pulse.


Lung function test

You will be asked to take a deep breath and blow out for as long as you can into a mouthpiece. We will be use a clean, new mouthpiece for each participant.


Hip and waist measurement

We will measure your waist and hip.


Grip strength measurement

You will be asked to hold a grip device and squeeze it as hard as you can. This will enable us to measure the strength of your grip.


12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) test

An electrocardiogram (ECG) records the electrical activity of the heart. The heart produces tiny electrical impulses that spread through the heart muscle to make the heartbeat. These impulses are detected by the ECG machine. The process is painless and harmless, and will take up to 10-15 minutes. It records electrical impulses coming from your body and it does not put any electricity into your body. For this test, we will ask you to lie down on a couch and we will then connect you to the ECG machine using new, clean disposable patches on your arms, legs and chest.


Ultrasound scan of carotid arteries

We place ultrasound gel on your neck and gently run an ultrasound probe, like the ones used in pregnancy, along your neck to get a three dimensional image of your carotid arteries. The test will take about 5 minutes.


Vicorder artery stiffness measurement

The Vicorder provides non-invasive measurement of your arterial stiffness. You will wear one measurement cuff on your arm and one on your leg for 5-10 minutes.


Retinal eye test

This is an examination of the retina and blood vessels in your eye. An eye camera, similar to those used by ophthalmologists and optometrists, will take a photograph of the back of the inside of your eye. If you wear contact lenses, you will NOT be required to remove these for this test.


iDXA scan of your whole-body

The scanner uses extremely low-dose x-ray radiation to measure both your bone density and also your body composition, including the distribution of fat and muscle. The scan is undertaken while wearing a gown and you will be asked to lie flat on the scanning table for around 5-10 minutes.


Treadmill walking test

You will first be asked some questions to make sure you are able to do this test. Then you will wear the gown provided and walk on a treadmill for approximately 10 minutes. During this test you will wear a heart rate monitor around your chest. The results will allow us to estimate the response of your body to mild exercise.


Blood sample

You will be asked to give a sample of blood for analysis. The skin will be wiped clean with a disinfecting wipe, and a new, clean, disposable needle will be inserted through the area of cleansed skin into a vein. Nothing will be injected into you. The blood will flow out through the needle into a syringe or special vacuumed tubes. We will take approximately 60 milliliters of your blood, which is around the same volume as a “pocket sized” hand sanitizer gel. Because the volume of blood taken is so small, there will be no physical effect on you.


Urine sample

You will be asked to give a sample of urine for analysis. You will be given a specimen pot with a screw cap and asked to go to a private bathroom to half fill the jar with urine.


Saliva sample

You will be asked to give a sample of your saliva for analysis. You will be asked to place a small cotton swab under your tongue for two minutes. Saliva will collect at the bottom of your mouth and will be soaked by the cotton swab. You will then place the cotton swab into a small tube.




You are being invited to take part in Qatar Biobank, Qatar’s long-term medical health initiative for Qatar’s population. To help you decide whether to contribute, here is some information on Qatar Biobank and what taking part involves.


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Qatar Biobank will make it possible for scientists to conduct research to address some of the greatest health challenges facing Qatar and the region, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.


Qatar Foundation Ministry of Public Health
Hamad Medical Corporation


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