Home » Genetics » Candidate Gene and SNP Files

The purpose of the HRS Candidate Gene and SNP files is to provide data users access to carefully selected subsets of the HRS genotype data available on dbGaP. These are smaller and more manageable files designed for data users who are interested in a specific gene or SNP. Users must have dbGaP approval before requesting and gaining access to these files from HRS.

Currently, there are two sets of files available: Cognition and Behavior; Longevity. The specific SNPs and genes included in each package and file description documents with details on each data package are provided below.

Cognition and Behavior


Principal components for all unrelated study subjects as well as principal components calculated within ethnic-specific samples are also provided with each package. For more information on the data collection, genotyping, imputation, and annotation of these files please refer to the Candidate Gene and SNP Data Description.

How to Apply

Researchers wishing to use the HRS Candidate Gene and SNP files must first apply to dbGaP for access to the genotyped data. The process to request access to any dbGaP study is done via the dbGaP authorized access system. Please see the YouTube video dbGaP: Apply for Controlled Access Data for a step-by-step demonstration of how the process works.

Once access to dbGaP has been granted, researchers may apply for access to the HRS Candidate Gene and SNP files by submitting a Genetic Data Access Use Agreement. Users should also request access to the HRS-dbGaP Cross-Reference File as this provides the ID crosswalk between the HRS genetic data files and the HRS public data identifiers (HHID and PN).

  1. Visit the HRS User Registration/File Download Web site. Note: If you do not already have a username and password, you must register in order to enter the site and download HRS public (phenotype) data.
  2. Download and complete the Genetic Data Access Use Agreement
  3. Download and complete the Genetic Data Order Form
  4. Send a signed copy of these two documents...
    1. via email (PDF) to:
      HRS Data Requests (hrsdatareq@umich.edu)
    2. via surface mail to:
      Health and Retirement Study
      DUA Review Committee
      426 Thompson Street
      Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104-2321

HRS Public Data

Researchers can view the HRS public data (phenotypes) at any time by registering as an HRS data user. The concordance tool is a convenient way to search for survey content by topic/keyword.

Restricted Data Linkages

Users wishing to link to HRS restricted data products must submit a restricted data application.


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  1. Introduction to Genomics
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  5. Ethical, Legal and Social Issues
  6. An Overview of State and National Resources

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Additional Information: