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German National Cohort / German National Health Study


The NAKO German National Health Study (short GNC) or German National Cohort as it used to be called, is a prospective epidemiologic observational study including 200,000 people recruited through 18 centres throughout the country. Aim of this research project is to gain a better understanding of the fundamental causes for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, dementia, heart attack and others in order to improve prevention, early detection and treatment in Germany.

Physical activity, inactivity and related parameters such as physical fitness are important exposition variables of this study. Growing importance is attached to their role in the prevention of numerous diseases. Whilst previous studies often solely relied on subjective and simplified assessment methods for this factor, the application of more accurate methods and a combination of objective and subjective data generate significantly more detailed results on the relationship between a physically active lifestyle and numerous health risks.

From the very beginning, Prof. Steindorf has been Co-Chair of the task force “Physical Activity” within the large German National Cohort and has advocated an innovative, multi-tool assessment on physical activity, including a questionnaire developed and validated in her group. This questionnaire is now part of the ongoing GNC survey. Recruitment has started at the end of 2014 and will continue for some time. Evaluations with regards to health issues will only be possible in several years. Nevertheless, the GNC study represents an important and innovative platform for our future research.

For general information please got to

Current status

The first follow-up survey is currently being conducted.


Dr. Florian Herbolsheimer
phone: +49 6221 42 2346

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