Prof.dr.ir. Roel Vermeulen
Universiteitsweg 100, 3584 CG Utrecht
Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht, Julius Centrum, UMCU, RIVM

A major scientific challenge for the next few decades is to understand the interaction between genetic susceptibility and environmental factors in the aetiology of chronic diseases. The most promising approach to discover these interactions requires a combined effort of epidemiology and molecular genetics and large sample sizes for sufficient power. Already in the early 90s, the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) was initiated in 10 European countries to create a large cohort (>500,000 individuals) to study the aetiology of chronic diseases. EPIC-NL is the Dutch contribution to EPIC and comprises about 50,000 individuals prospective followed since the early 90's. Biological samples have been stored in liquid nitrogen and repeated follow-up of the cohort has occured to obtain detailed information on lifestyle and behavioural factors and morbidity and mortality.

At baseline, a general questionnaire and an food-frequecny questionnaire were filled in by all participants. A physical examination including body weight, waist and hip circumference and blood pressure measurement was performed and blood samples were drawn. During follow-up, participants were followed for disease occurrence through registries and for lifestyle changes through questionnaires send with 3- to 5-year intervals.
Initially, the aim of the EPIC study was to investigate the role of nutrition in the aetiology of cancer. In addition to nutrition, EPIC-NL also focused on other lifestyle factors, such as smoking, alcohol and physical activity. The focus of the EPIC-NL has broadened to include most major chronic diseases as an endpoint, such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and type 2 diabetes.

Aansluiting bij strategische ontwikkelingen
Life Sciences & Health
Gezondheidszorgonderzoek, preventie en behandeling
NeuroLabNL: dè werkplaats voor hersen-, cognitie- en gedragsonderzoek
Kwaliteit van de omgeving