University of Leicester
The LifeLines Cohort Study: a resource providing new opportunities for environmental epidemiology.pdf (2.27 MB)

The LifeLines Cohort Study: a resource providing new opportunities for environmental epidemiology.

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-06-28, 15:01 authored by WL Zijlema, N Smidt, B Klijs, DW Morley, J Gulliver, K de Hoogh, S Scholtens, JGM Rosmalen, RP Stolk
BACKGROUND: Lifelines is a prospective population-based cohort study investigating the biological, behavioral and environmental determinants of healthy ageing among 167,729 participants from the North East region of the Netherlands. The collection and geocoding of (history of) home and work addresses allows linkage of individual-level health data to detailed exposure data. We describe the reasons for choosing particular assessments of environmental exposures in LifeLines and consider the implications for future investigations. METHODS: Exposure to ambient air pollution and road traffic noise was estimated using harmonized models. Data on noise annoyance, perceived exposure to electromagnetic fields, perceived living environment, and neighborhood characteristics were collected with questionnaires. A comprehensive medical assessment and questionnaires were completed in order to assess determinants of health and well-being. Blood and urine samples were collected from all participants and genome wide association data are available for a subsample of 15,638 participants. RESULTS: Mean age was 45 years (standard deviation (SD) 13 years), and 59 % were female. Median levels of NO2 and PM10 were 15.7 (interquartile range (IQR) 4.9) μg/m(3) and 24.0 (IQR 0.6) μg/m(3) respectively. Median levels of daytime road traffic noise were 54.0 (IQR 4.2) dB(A). CONCLUSIONS: The combination of harmonized environmental exposures and extensive assessment of health outcomes in LifeLines offers great opportunities for environmental epidemiology. LifeLines aims to be a resource for the international scientific community.


The LifeLines Cohort Study, and generation and management of GWAS genotype data for the LifeLines Cohort Study is supported by the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research NWO (grant 175.010.2007.006), the Economic Structure Enhancing Fund (FES) of the Dutch government, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Sports, the Northern Netherlands Collaboration of Provinces (SNN), the Province of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, the University of Groningen, Dutch Kidney Foundation and Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n°261433 (Biobank Standardisation and Harmonisation for Research Excellence in the European Union - BioSHaRE-EU). The funding bodies had no role in the design, collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; and in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. LifeLines (BRIF 4568) is engaged in a Bioresource Research Impact Factor (BRIF) policy pilot study, details of which can be found at



Archives of Public Health, 2016, 74:32

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/School of Geography, Geology and the Environment


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BMC (part of Springer Nature) for Belgian Public Health Association



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LifeLines adheres to standards for open data availability. The data catalogue of LifeLines is publicly accessible on All international researchers can apply for data at the LifeLines research office ( The LifeLines system allows access for reproducibility of the study results.



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