Jul 24, 2015 10:00 AM

Author: Cancer Learning Center

The personal histories of Utah pioneers may sound like something that belongs in a textbook. But those histories are affecting present-day lives. By looking at health information from generations of Utah families, researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) can identify cancer risk in today’s populations.

The Utah Population Database (UPDB) is where researchers find that health information. This unique and vast database has records from many sources, including genealogies, Utah birth and death certificates, cancer registry records, and hospitalization records. These records are linked to inpatient and outpatient records from the University of Utah Health Sciences Center and Intermountain Healthcare.

Created in the early 1970s with data from the Utah Family History Library, the UPDB contains genealogies for Utah pioneers and their modern-day descendants. Today, the UPDB has expanded its genealogical coverage by using vital records and now includes information for approximately 7 million persons—some with pedigrees 12 generations deep.

HCI researchers are involved with numerous studies that have used the UPDB. Data from these types of studies are then used to help estimate cancer risk for patients. The UPDB is also used to help identify high-risk families that may qualify for participation in specific cancer clinical trials. Access to the UPDB is governed by the Utah Resource for Genetic and Epidemiologic Research. For more information, contact the UPDB.

Cancer Learning Center

Huntsman Cancer Institute

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