Diabetes is defined by the presence of elevated blood glucose levels and is usually accompanied by an unfavourable cardiovascular disease risk profile. In the Netherlands, approximately 10% of the population aged 50–75 years old has type 2 diabetes mellitus. Partly due to the aging population and partly due to changes in lifestyle and the resulting epidemic of obesity, the percentage of people with diabetes is growing rapidly and is estimated to increase to one-third of the adult population in 2010. One of EMGO’s diabetes research programmes is aimed at identifying risk factors for type 2 diabetes and its complications and at developing strategies for prevention. In 1989, the Hoorn Study was initiated to study the prevalence and determinants of type 2 diabetes in the general population in the Netherlands. The Hoorn Study cohort has been monitored ever since and has been extended to include additional study populations. The number of ongoing research projects within the Hoorn Study grew over time, and so, in November 2005, a new and larger Diabetes Research Centre opened near Hoorn’s local hospital. The new centre is equipped with a vascular laboratory, an ophthalmologic examination unit, storage facilities, and test equipment, and well-trained research assistants have been appointed to guarantee the quality of the research.
The initial objective of the Hoorn Study was to determine the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and associated risk factors in a population-based cohort study. In 1989, a random sample was taken from the city of Hoorn’s municipal register. Of the 3553 men and women aged 50–75 years old who were invited, 2540 (71.5%) agreed to participate. Of those, researchers excluded 56 non-Caucasian subjects, resulting in the initial Hoorn Study cohort of 2,484 subjects. All participants, except those who were on glucose-lowering medication, underwent an oral glucose tolerance test, which consisted of drinking a solution of 75 g glucose in 300 ml water after an overnight fast. They underwent a physical examination and completed questionnaires on their health status and lifestyle. The objectives were later extended to study risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease and other diabetes complications in a prospective follow-up of the original cohort. The study population has since been increased to include new samples of diabetic patients and patients with impaired glucose tolerance. Repeated medical examinations and follow-ups of morbidity and mortality in a well-defined population make it possible to study new risk factors and effective methods for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. The many facets of diabetes are being studied in a multidisciplinary approach, involving collaboration with specialists from various fields of research.
The National Institute for Public health and the Environment (RIVM), the Netherlands Institute for health Services (NIVEL) and the Dutch Institute for Healthcare Improvement (CBO).
Study of the effects of SMBG in type 2 diabetes patients not using insulin: Life-scan, USA European Best Information through Regional Outcomes in Diabetes (EUBIROD) Twenty partners over different European countries
In 2006, the New Hoorn Study began, also a population-based cohort study, this time in 2700 men and women, aged 40–65. So, this study cohort is younger than the original Hoorn Study. The focus of this study will be on determinants of beta-cell function and the change of the prevalence of impaired glucose regulation and diabetes over time. As possible determinants of beta-cell function, initial studies will investigate the contributions of lifestyle, including stress.
Responsible for the Hoorn Study are: