The Lifelines Cohort Study: Prevalence and treatment of cardiovascular disease and risk factors.


The LifeLines Cohort Study is a large three-generation prospective study and Biobank. Recruitment and data collection started in 2006 and follow-up is planned for 30years. The central aim of LifeLines is to understand healthy ageing in the 21st century. Here, the study design, methods, baseline and major cardiovascular phenotypes of the LifeLines Cohort Study are presented.

Methods and results

Baseline cardiovascular phenotypes were defined in 9700 juvenile (8-18years) and 152,180 adult (≥18years) participants. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) was defined using ICD-10 criteria. At least one cardiovascular risk factor was present in 73% of the adult participants. The prevalence, adjusted for the Dutch population, was determined for risk factors (hypertension (33%), hypercholesterolemia (19%), diabetes (4%), overweight (56%), and current smoking (19%)) and CVD (myocardial infarction (1.8%), heart failure (1.0%), and atrial fibrillation (1.3%)). Overall CVD prevalence increased with age from 9% in participants<65years to 28% in participants≥65years. Of the participants with hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes, respectively 75%, 96% and 41% did not receive preventive pharmacotherapy.


The contemporary LifeLines Cohort Study provides researchers with unique and novel opportunities to study environmental, phenotypic, and genetic risk factors for CVD and is expected to improve our knowledge on healthy ageing. In this contemporary Western cohort we identified a remarkable high percentage of untreated CVD risk factors suggesting that not all opportunities to reduce the CVD burden are utilised.
Copyright © 2016 Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.


Cardiovascular disease; Epidemiology; LifeLines; Prospective study; Risk factors

year of publication



  • Int J Cardiol.


  • van der Ende, MY
  • Hartman, MH
  • Hagemeijer, Y
  • Meems, LM
  • de Vries, HS
  • van der Harst, P
  • et al.

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