• [Design and quality control of the oral health status examination in the German National Cohort (GNC)].

      Holtfreter, Birte; Samietz, Stefanie; Hertrampf, Katrin; Aarabi, Ghazal; Hagenfeld, Daniel; Kim, Ti-Sun; Kocher, Thomas; Koos, Bernd; Schmitter, Marc; Ahrens, Wolfgang; et al. (Dpringer, 2020-03-12)
      BACKGROUND: Caries and periodontitis are highly prevalent worldwide. Because detailed data on these oral diseases were collected within the framework of the German National Cohort (GNC), associations between oral and systemic diseases and conditions can be investigated. OBJECTIVES: The study protocol for the oral examination was designed to ensure a comprehensive collection of dental findings by trained non-dental staff within a limited examination time. At the mid-term of the GNC baseline examination, a first quality evaluation was performed to check the plausibility of results and to propose measures to improve the data quality. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A dental interview, saliva sampling and oral diagnostics were conducted. As part of the level‑1 examination, the number of teeth and prostheses were recorded. As part of the level‑2 examination, detailed periodontal, cariological and functional aspects were examined. All examinations were conducted by trained non-dental personnel. Parameters were checked for plausibility and variable distributions were descriptively analysed. RESULTS: Analyses included data of 57,967 interview participants, 56,913 level‑1 participants and 6295 level‑2 participants. Percentages of missing values for individual clinical parameters assessed in level 1 and level 2 ranged between 0.02 and 3.9%. Results showed a plausible distribution of the data; rarely, implausible values were observed, e.g. for measurements of horizontal and vertical overbite (overjet and overbite). Intra-class correlation coefficients indicated differences in individual parameters between regional clusters, study centres and across different examiners. CONCLUSIONS: The results confirm the feasibility of the study protocol by non-dental personnel and its successful integration into the GNC's overall assessment program. However, rigorous dental support of the study centres is required for quality management.
    • [Self-reported infections in the German National Cohort (GNC) in the context of the current research landscape].

      Hassenstein, Max J; Aarabi, Ghazal; Ahnert, Peter; Becher, Heiko; Franzke, Claus-Werner; Fricke, Julia; Krause, Gérard; Glöckner, Stephan; Gottschick, Cornelia; Karch, André; et al.
      Infectious diseases continue to play an important role for disease perception, health-economic considerations and public health in Germany. In recent years, infectious diseases have been linked to the development of non-communicable diseases. Analyses of the German National Cohort (GNC) may provide deeper insights into this issue and pave the way for new targeted approaches in disease prevention. Objectives The aim was to describe the tools used to assess infectious diseases and to present initial data on infectious disease frequencies, as well as to relate the GNC assessment tools to data collection methods in other studies in Germany. Methods As part of the baseline examination, questions regarding infectious diseases were administered using both an interview and a self-administered touchscreen questionnaire. Data from the initial 101,787 GNC participants were analysed. Results In the interview, 0.2% (HIV/AIDS) to 8.6% (shingles) of respondents reported ever having a medical diagnosis of shingles, postherpetic neuralgia (in cases where shingles was reported), hepatitis B/C, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or sepsis if treated in hospital. In the questionnaire, 12% (cystitis) to 81% (upper respiratory tract infections) of respondents reported having experienced at least one occurrence of upper or lower respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal infections, cystitis or fever within the past 12 months. Outlook The cross-sectional analyses of data and tools presented here – for example on determinants of susceptibility to self-reported infections – can be anticipated from the year 2021 onward. Beyond that, more extensive research into infectious disease epidemiology will follow, particularly once analyses of GNC biological materials have been performed.