ERGOErasmus Rotterdam Gezondheid Onderzoek / Rotterdam Studie

Contact details:

Dr. M.A. Ikram
Wytemaweg 80, Rotterdam

The Rotterdam Elderly Study is a prospective cohort study in the Ommoord district in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The study started in January 1990. The main objectives of the Rotterdam Study were to investigate the risk factors of chronic diseases in mid- and late life. Up to 2008, a total of 14,926 subjects aged 45 years or over have been recruited. Participants were interviewed at home and went through an extensive set of examinations, including sample collections for in-depth molecular and genetic analyses. Examinations were repeated every 3-4 years in potentially changing characteristics.

The Rotterdam Study is a prospective cohort study ongoing since 1990 in the city of Rotterdam in The Netherlands. The study targets cardiovascular, endocrine, hepatic, neurological, ophthalmic, psychiatric, dermatological, oncological, and respiratory diseases. As of 2015, 14,926 subjects aged 45 years or over comprise the Rotterdam Study cohort. The findings of the Rotterdam Study have been presented in over a 1,000 research articles and reports (see www.erasmus-epidemiology.nl/rotterdamstudy).
The design of the Rotterdam study is that of a prospective cohort study. At baseline and follow-up every 3 to 4 years, participants are all examined in some detail at baseline. They are interviewed at home (2 h) and then have an extensive set of examinations (a total of 5 h) in a specially built research facility in the centre of their district. These examinations focus on possible causes of invalidating diseases in the elderly in a clinically state-of-the-art manner, as far as the circumstances allow. Data collected include: demographics, lifestyle, diet, medication use, blood/serum markers of cardiometabolism and inflammation, genetics, epigenetics, metabolomics, gait patterns. Additionally, there is strong emphasis on imaging (of heart, blood vessels, eyes, skeleton and later brain). All hardware (e.g. MRI-scanner) and software required for these assessments is present on-site. Several add-on studies have taken place using facilities in the Erasmus MC (e.g. CT-scan).
The participants in the Rotterdam Study are followed for a variety of diseases that are frequent in the elderly (and many are also in the not so elderly): coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease and other dementias, depression and anxiety disorders, macular degeneration and glaucoma, respiratory diseases, liver diseases, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, dermatological diseases and cancer.
In addition to in-person assessments, there is also automated coupling of the study database with medical records from general practitioners and pharmacy records. This enables continuous monitoring of the cohort for all major outcomes and drug use.

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