The German National Cohort - A prospective epidemiological study resource for health and disease research in Germany


The aim of the German health study NAKO is to investigate genetic and environmental risk factors for frequent chronic diseases in a prospective study setting. The study will include a total of 100,000 women and 100,000 men aged 20 to 69 years, who will be recruited through a network of 18 study centers organized in eight geographic clusters throughout Germany, representing the population of almost all federal states and covering metropolitan, urban and rural regions. Baseline interviews, questionnaires and examinations (incl. collection of biomaterials) were performed in all participants.
In order to obtain additional information on the individual’s health and employment history, the collected study data will be linked to secondary and registry data. Of course provided that the participant has given his/her consent. Secondary data means data existing e.g. in health insurance companies or pension scheme providers.
For this purpose, the competence network for secondary and registry data was established consisting of the Institute of Social Medicine and Health Economics of the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS and the German Cancer Research Center. The transfer and usage of secondary and registry data require administrative and logistic efforts over the whole study period. First of all getting into contact and having conversation with the data owners resulting in contracts on cooperation. Then preparation of the data for use in the study, issue of information material as well as advice for scientific users are carried out by the competence network.
BIPS is responsible to organize the transfer and linkage of claims data obtained from statutory health insurances. These data contain information about disease diagnoses and treatments, ambulatory and hospital care and prescribed medications.
More information on the NAKO health study can be found here:

Funding period

Begin:   May 2018
End:   April 2023


  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research


Dr. rer. nat. Kathrin Günther


Website of the German National Cohort