Life Course Epidemiology can be defined as the study of the long-term effects of exposures during gestation, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood and later adult life on an individual’s risk of chronic disease. In epidemiological practice, this means longitudinal research is required with follow-up over many years. We explicitly incorporate co-morbidity and multi-morbidities as research themes into our projects. The department has long experience with studies of both population-based cohorts and of various patient/clinical cohorts.
The department maintains a strong profile as a center of expertise on the methodology of cohort studies, including biobanking and Big Data studies. This is evident in its strong involvement in all the UMCG’s major cohort studies. We have both the expertise (methodological and disease-specific) and the tools to facilitate and strengthen all the epidemiological, clinical and biobanking research performed in the UMCG. We are also eager to share our expertise with others, for example, in supporting research in nearly all the clinical and pre-clinical departments.
Overall, the Department of Epidemiology is a major driving force in initiating and conducting life course research and is instrumental to the clinical research within the UMCG’s main theme of Healthy Ageing.