The UMCG and RUG are joining together to delve into the experiences of the 135,000 Northern Dutch people that have used Lifelines
Lifelines is one of the biggest and longest-running research projects into the developing health of a population. It started several years ago in Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe, and now it has an enormous amount of data on the health of a cross-section of people, reports the GIC.
The many thousands of participants in Lifelines receive a questionnaire every week. Their answers are linked to form a Lifelines biobank of data.
Through this, researchers can see whether there are hereditary or environmental factors that cause someone to become more or less sick from the Coronavirus.
The weekly questionnaires are sent to participants through the research programmes Lifelines and NEXT, and the answers are combined with previously-collected data, including genetic information.
Principal investigator Lude Franke, Professor of Genetics, explains: “With this research we want to see whether there are differences in the DNA of people who have become seriously ill from the Coronavirus, and people who have had mild symptoms.”
This research will also investigate the extent to which the Coronavirus outbreak has influenced the welfare and well-being of Northerners. Are people getting gloomy or anxious? How does this affect their eating behavior and health? And, does it have a further effect on their daily life, including their work? What effects will this have in the longer term?
This study also maps out how the Coronavirus will and has spread in the three Northern Provinces over the coming months. This knowledge can help to predict more accurately what will happen in other infectious diseases in the future.
The Lifelines research is a joint initiative of the UMCG, University of Groningen, Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health and Lifelines. It is made possible in part by the University of the North, a collective of Northern knowledge institutions.
Lifelines director Bert-Jan Souman: “It is special to see what we have organised together in such a short time. We are joining forces to increase knowledge about the Coronavirus and to contribute to our society through scientific research. ”
Only participants in the Lifelines and Lifelines NEXT research programs are invited to participate in this research. They will receive the invitation by email. More information can be found at the Lifelines website.
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