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© Onno Seyler/UKE

City Health Study Commenced By University Medical Centre

The world's largest local health survey officially started. 45,000 Hamburg residents to be examined. First results by 2016

Why do people suffer from a heart attack or dementia? How can health be strengthened? And what can we do to make locals healthier? These are some questions asked by Hamburg City Health Study (HCHS) conducted by the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). In May, UKE has been launching the world’s largest local health study – a flagship project for Hamburg.

45,000 locals aged 45-74 years are being examined for six hours as part of the study. In the project led by UKE, nearly 30 clinics and institutes are co-operating. Next to UKE institutes and clinics, also industry partners will be involved in the survey.

Improved Understanding of Commons Illnesses

The HCHS wants to understand the network behind diseases. Because illness and health do not only depend on individual risk factors, but are a result of a complex interplay of many factors such as genetics, medical history, lifestyle or environmental factors. The better these relationships are known, the common diseases can be diagnosed and treated. The findings of the HCHS will help to shape the medicine of tomorrow – with more personalised treatment strategies and focused prevention.

World’s Largest Biomaterial Data Base

In the study, a total of 270 million bio-data will be collected – blocked and stored under the strictest data protection requirements. They will create the largest world’s largest bio material data base and allow a far-reaching network of research. With first results available by 2016, long-term results are expected by 2021.

National Long-Term Survey

The UKE University Medical Centre is also one of 18 locations in Germany involved in the long-term epidemiological study “National Cohort”. In this study, 200,000 people aged between 20 and 69 from across Germany will be medically examined and questioned on their living habits (e.g. physical activity, smoking, diet, occupation etc.). In addition, all participants in the study will supply blood samples which will be stored in a central biobank for later research projects. After five years, all participants will have to complete a second questionnaire and be examined once again at their local study centre.

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