The German National Cohort (NAKO)

The German National Cohort (NAKO) is an interdisciplinary endeavour of scientists in dozens of German research institutes. The goals of the health study are to improve the knowledge of common diseases in the German population, especially their prevention, risk factors, and early diagnosis. Such common diseases are in particular cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, respiratory, and infectious diseases, and their pre-clinical stages or functional health impairments. How such diseases are distributed regionally is also going to be investigated in this study. The NAKO investigates medical and biological parameters as well as environmental, lifestyle, social, and work related influences and how they correlate to the development of various diseases.

A random sample of 200.000 people of all genders between the ages of 20 to 69 years is drawn by 18 study centres across Germany. The participants are chosen through the German registry office and are invited to contribute to the NAKO. These participants are periodically invited to their regional centre for check-ups. Each check-up consists of a survey and health screening of only a few hours in the centre. The study itself is intended to have an overall duration of about twenty-five to thirty years. Participating in this study will provide crucial data needed to form a central resource for epidemiology in Germany. Thereby every participant will aid to develop new and improved strategies for early detection, prediction, and primary prevention of major common diseases.

The centre in Augsburg is located at the University Hospital of Augsburg. In 2019 the baseline phase was successfully established and all 20.000 participants were efficiently checked-up. Augsburg is also one of only five centres in all of Germany that additionally participates in the MRI examination program of the NAKO project. Participants involved in this more extensive program have a full body MRI scan, which takes approximately one hour.

For further information on the German National Health Study (NAKO) please visit the English language version of our homepage.