The general population cohort of Lifelines consists of 167.729 participants, identified with a Lifelines-ID.
Lifelines participants were initially recruited through general practitioners in the three provinces in the northern part of the Netherlands: Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe1).
General practitioners (GP's) invited all their patients between 25 and 50 years old (on Terschelling 18+), resulting in ~81.500 participants at baseline.
These individuals were then asked to invite their family members (parents, partner, children, parents-in-law), resulting in an additional ~64.500 participants at baseline.
~21.500 interested individuals registered directly for baseline participation via the Lifelines website.
There were no specific inclusion criteria for Lifelines.
GP's were asked to decide which of their patients should be excluded from Lifelines, based on the following list of exclusion criteria provided by Lifelines:
Lifelines has participants of all ages.
Children follow a special child protocol until they turn 18. Elderly participants follow the adult protocol plus some additional questions (in assessments 1A, 1B and 1C) and additional measurements (MMSE).
Since baseline, the original distribution of the three age groups (children, adults and elderly) has shifted as follows:
Lifelines has ~97,000 female participants (58%) and ~71,000 male participants (42%).
Most questionnaires and measurements are performed in both sexes.
The vast majority of Lifelines participants is born in the Netherlands (97%) and has a Caucasian ethnicity (98%). See also the subsection on Nationality & ethnicity.
Click here to learn more about the Lifelines death rate and causes of death.
Lifelines includes many participants with a family connection to one another, including 355 twins and 5 triplets. Current and past family connections between participants are identified using:
Based on BRP and self-report, the following Lifelines nuclear families can be identified:
|Number of families||Child(ren) = LL Participant(s)|
|Parent = LL participant||Total||1||2||3||4||5|
|Only the mother||~2200||~1500||~600||~80||<10||<10|
|Only the father||~350||~250||~80||~10||<10||<10|
|Mother and father||~5000||~2600||~2000||~350||~40||<10|
Other family connections (e.g. grandparent-grandchild, siblings) are present in the cohort as well.
At baseline, the adult Lifelines cohort was generally representative of the adult population of the north of the Netherlands2). An updated report on the representativity of the current cohort is currently in preparation.
Comprehensive factsheets were developed on a number of health-related topics covered by Lifelines:
In addition, some informative cohort statistics can be found here:
Subsets of participants have been selected for additional assessments according to assessment-specific criteria. This results in subcohorts that are defined by the availability of certain additional variables.
Some notable examples are: