• Evaluation of a questionnaire to assess selected infectious diseases and their risk factors : findings of a multicenter study.

      Sievers, Claudia; Akmatov, Manas K; Kreienbrock, Lothar; Hille, Katja; Ahrens, Wolfgang; Günther, Kathrin; Flesch-Janys, Dieter; Obi, Nadia; Michels, Karin B; Fricke, Julia; et al. (2014-11)
      The risk to die from an infectious disease in Germany has been continuously decreasing over the last century. Since infections are, however, not only causes of death but risk factors for diseases like cardiovascular diseases, it is essential to monitor and analyze their prevalence and frequency, especially in consideration of the increased life expectancy. To gain more knowledge about infectious diseases as risk factors and their implications on the condition and change of the immune status, the German National Cohort (GNC), a population-based prospective cohort study, will recruit 200,000 subjects between 2014 and 2017. In Pretest 1, a feasibility study for the GNC, we evaluated a self-administered and self-report questionnaire on infectious diseases and on the use of health care facilities (hereinafter called "ID Screen") for feasibility and validity.
    • The German National Cohort: aims, study design and organization.

      German National Cohort consortium; Krause, Gerard; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2014-05)
      The German National Cohort (GNC) is a joint interdisciplinary endeavour of scientists from the Helmholtz and the Leibniz Association, universities, and other research institutes. Its aim is to investigate the causes for the development of major chronic diseases, i.e. cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative/-psychiatric diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, respiratory and infectious diseases, and their pre-clinical stages or functional health impairments. Across Germany, a random sample of the general population will be drawn by 18 regional study centres, including a total of 100,000 women and 100,000 men aged 20-69 years. The baseline assessments include an extensive interview and self-completion questionnaires, a wide range of medical examinations and the collection of various biomaterials. In a random subgroup of 20 % of the participants (n = 40,000) an intensified examination ("Level 2") programme will be performed. In addition, in five of the 18 study centres a total of 30,000 study participants will take part in a magnetic resonance imaging examination programme, and all of these participants will also be offered the intensified Level 2 examinations. After 4-5 years, all participants will be invited for a re-assessment. Information about chronic disease endpoints will be collected through a combination of active follow-up (including questionnaires every 2-3 years) and record linkages. The GNC is planned for an overall duration of 25-30 years. It will provide a major, central resource for population-based epidemiology in Germany, and will help to identify new and tailored strategies for early detection, prediction, and primary prevention of major diseases.