BIPS leads one of 18 study centers of the German National Cohort (NAKO) and coordinates the North-West Cluster consisting of Hamburg, Hannover and Bremen. With a target number of 200.000 participants until summer 2019, the NAKO is the biggest multi-center epidemiological cohort study conducted in Germany to date. It is of major strategic importance for the institute because it has the potential to dominate epidemiological research in Germany for decades.
The NAKO team at BIPS actively contributes to different NAKO expert and working groups and to the development of the study protocol. Although the establishment of the NAKO primarily has to be considered as the building up of a research infrastructure, BIPS researchers contribute to the exploitation of study data and scientific publications whenever possible. The recruitment center at BIPS is responsible for the examination of 10,000 inhabitants of Bremen, the scientific management, quality assurance and data analyses. In autumn 2018, the basic examination with 10,500 study participants in Bremen was completed and the follow-up examination successfully started. The recruitment center collaborates closely with the BIPS BioBank, where 1/3 of NAKO biosamples are stored, and the Units Field Work, IT, Data Management and Medical Documentation and Molecular Epidemiology.
Competence Unit Secondary Data
The tasks of the Competence Network Secondary and Register Data of the NAKO Health Survey (KompN) consist in the development and utilization of secondary and register data from various data owners for scientific use in the NAKO. These data represent an extremely valuable source of data for the NAKO, as they contain information in addition to the collected primary data, which could only be obtained from the participants with great effort and possibly with considerable memory gaps. The competence unit Secondary Data works as a competence network at three locations, so-called nodes:
- Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology, BIPS in Bremen
- Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg
- German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg
All nodes are in contact with a large number of data owners who have already confirmed their interest in cooperating with the NAKO. The Bremen node is currently conducting contract negotiations and cooperation talks with several large statutory health insurance companies.