Erfassung inzidenter kardiovaskulärer und metabolischer Erkrankungen in epidemiologischen Kohortenstudien in Deutschland
Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases are a major cause of mortality and loss of quality of life in Germany. Research into risk factors of these diseases requires large population-based cohort studies. Complete and accurate assessment of the incidence of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases is a key element for valid interpretation of the results from such studies.Our aim was to identify population-based cohort studies with incidence of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in Germany and to summarize their methods for assessment and classification of disease endpoints, including myocardial infarction, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart failure, and arterial hypertension.Within the framework of a workshop, representatives of the ascertained population-based cohort studies in Germany with incidence of cardiovascular or metabolic diseases were invited to present and to systematically provide information on their methods of endpoint identification.We identified eight studies from different regions in Germany with a total of 100,571 participants, aged 18-83 years at baseline. Self-reporting by study participants is the major source for further inquiries to assess disease endpoints in these studies. Most studies use additional data sources to verify the incidence of diseases, such as documents provided by the treating physician or hospital.Our results highlight the central role of self-reporting and the efforts associated with identification and verification of disease endpoints in cohort studies. They also provide a basis for future population-based studies that aim for standardized assessment of the incidence of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.