The Italian Twin Registry: An Update at 18 Years From Its Inception

Emanuela Medda, Virgilia Toccaceli, Corrado Fagnani, Lorenza Nisticò, Sonia Brescianini, Miriam Salemi, Maurizio Ferri, Cristina D'Ippolito, Sabrina Alviti, Antonio Arnofi, Maria Antonietta Stazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Italian Twin Registry (ITR), established in 2001, is a population-based registry of voluntary twins. To date, it consists of approximately 29,000 twins who gave their consent to participate in the studies proposed by the ITR research group. The database comprises 11,500 monozygotic and 16,700 dizygotic twins resident throughout the country and belonging to a wide age range (from 0 to 95 years, mean 36.8 years). This article provides an overview of the recruitment strategies along with the major phenotypes investigated during an 18 years' research period. Over the years, several self-reported questionnaire data were collected, together with saliva/blood samples and measurements taken during in-person interviews or outpatient clinical examinations. Mental and behavioral phenotypes as well as atherosclerotic traits were studied in depth across different age groups. A birth cohort of twins was established and followed up. Novel research hypotheses are also being tested in ongoing projects. The ITR is involved in international studies in collaboration with other twin registries and represents a valuable resource for national and international research initiatives regarding a broad spectrum of health-related characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-578
Number of pages7
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


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