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VA Study Attempts To Create One Of World’s Largest Medical Databases

Aired 2/27/12 on KPBS News.

San Diego's VA Medical System is trying to recruit 20,000 veterans for a nationwide study.

— San Diego's VA Medical System is looking for veterans to take part in a nationwide study. The study is attempting to create one of the world's largest medical databases.

The Million Veteran Program is asking for volunteers to donate blood and provide their medical history. Researchers will collect genetic, health and lifestyle information and put it in a giant database.

Neil Johnson is the research coordinator for the San Diego site. He says one goal is to get a better understanding of the links between genetic variations and diseases. But Johnson said the research possibilities are endless.

"If we aren't able to get miraculous things out of this, people aren't doing their job, and they don't have enough imagination of what they can do with this," Johnson said.

San Diego's VA system is trying to recruit 20,000 veterans for the study. Johnson said medical information will not be linked to a person's identity.

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