The rationale and design of the ImaLife study published


- by Yara Poel

For the ImaLife project, the UMCG (Medical Imaging Center), in cooperation with Lifelines, investigates early imaging biomarkers of cardiovascular disease (CVD), lung cancer and chronic obstructive lung diseases(COPD). Together, these three diseases are called the Big-3. All three of them are chronic diseases and together they form the primary cause of death in the Netherlands. The ImaLife project was conceived to determine reference values for the Big-3 imaging biomarkers in the general population, and to get to know more about causes and risk factors of the Big-3. In total, 12,000 Lifelines participants undergo low-dose CT imaging of heart and lungs. 

The study aim of the ImaLife project is:

  • to provide reference values for lung density, bronchial wall thickness, vascular calcification and lung nodules by age and gender in an asymptomatic population, using a new, ultra-low-dose CT technique. 
  • to assess the relation of imaging biomarkers of the Big-3 with clinical and laboratory biomarkers and outcome as available in the LifeLines database. 
  • to evaluate imaging biomarkers of other degenerative diseases and processes.

The invited subgroup of Lifelines participants will provide the ImaLife study with new population-based data on early Big-3 imaging biomarkers. This information can be finally integrated into personalized health strategies for individuals of the general population to reduce mortality in the entire population leading to healthy ageing!

Read more of the publication here