Data and biobank
The Lifelines study follows over 167,000 participants over a 30-year period. Every five years, participants visit one of the Lifelines sites in the northern parts of the Netherlands for an examination. During these assessments, several physical measurements are taken and different biomaterials are collected. As part of the assessment, participants are asked to fill out comprehensive questionnaires. In between assessments, participants are invited to complete follow-up questionnaires approximately once every 1.5 years.
What kind of information is collected?
The Lifelines cohort distinguishes a children's cohort (aged 0-18 years at baseline), an adult cohort (18 years – 65 years at baseline) and an elderly cohort (+65 years at baseline). For each subset a research protocol is designed to fit the specific age group. Download the specification to see the protocol for adults and for children.
Who is in the cohort?
Between 2006 and 2013, inhabitants of the northern part of the Netherlands and their families were invited to participate in the Lifelines cohort study. Initially, eligible participants between 25 and 50 years of age were recruited through their general practitioner. These individuals were then asked to indicate whether their family members (parents, partner, children, parents-in-law) would also be willing to participate in the study, if so they were sent an invitation to participate. In addition, other interested individuals could self-register as participants via the website during a limited period of time. This approach has resulted in a three-generation cohort of over 167,000 participants that contained at baseline:
- 15,000 children (aged 0-18 years)
- 150,000 adults (aged 18-65 years)
- 12,000 elderly (65+ years).
What if Lifelines did not collect precisely what I need for my research project?
Lifelines has an open protocol, which means that you may request the collection of extra data, measurements and/or samples from Lifelines participants to suit your specific research needs. Our specialized infrastructure, our extensive knowledge of our participants, and our expertise in participant communication and data/sample collection can be used to add an extra dimension to your project for an affordable price.
For these so-called additional studies, certain principles apply:
- researchers are themselves responsible for the funding needed for an additional study and for obtaining medical-ethical approval if needed.
- the results of an additional study will return to Lifelines and can be accessed, combined with other Lifelines data, via a research workspace.
- the results of an additional study may eventually be used, after a mutually agreed embargo period, by other researchers.