Pretests for the National Cohort

A major foundation for the planning and preparation of the National Cohort was the implementation of pretests to assess the feasibility of methods for recruitment of study participants and for assessment of study data. In addition, the pretests formed the basis to build up recruitment centers and hire qualified personnel. Within these pretests, we have recruited more than 400 participants from Berlin and Brandenburg. The participants underwent a base set of detailed interviews and physical examination that were standardized across all study centers. In addition, we have conducted feasibility studies in collaboration with partner institutions, to evaluate methods to assess physical activity, physical fitness, nutrition, and oral health. Further, we have developed methods for shipment and long-term storage of biomaterials. During the pretests, blood samples have been collected from participants of the three study centers of the Cluster Berlin-Brandenburg, and are being stored at the MDC. Furthermore a study protocols for the assessment of body measures using a 3-dimensional body surface scanner has been developed.