Berlin-Buch: NAKO Health Study investigates its 5000th participant

The Berlin-Nord Study Centre has now recruited half of the 10,000 volunteers for Germany’s largest ever cohort study. Across Germany, a total of 200,000 people will participate in the study, who will be carefully examined and thereafter observed for twenty to thirty years. The large-scale study will serve the improvement of prevention, early detection and treatment of widespread diseases.

The NAKO Berlin-Nord Study Centre welcomed its 5000th participant in the NAKO Health Study: Claudia Piedel from Hohen Neuendorf. On behalf of all the participants, head and speaker of the Study Centre Prof. Tobias Pischon thanked her for her commitment to the study.

Like all the participants, Claudia Piedel underwent several hours of medical examination, the results of which will be incorporated into the largest ever population study in Germany. The aim of the NAKO Health Study is to improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of widespread diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and dementia.

The Study Centres in Berlin

The Berlin-Nord Study Centre on the Berlin-Buch Campus is operated by the MDC and commenced its work in the spring of 2014. It is one of 18 study centres across Germany which are involved in the study. By around 2018/2019, the study centre should have examined a total of 10,000 study participants. Alongside the Study Centre in the north of Berlin there are two further study centres; one in the centre of Berlin and the other in Berlin-Steglitz, which are to recruit a total of 30,000 participants.

The NAKO Health Study

Across Germany, a total of 200,000 participants between the ages of 20 to 69 are being examined and interviewed about their lifestyle habits. Various biological samples are obtained and are pseudonymously stored for research projects. The participants are being observed for 20 to 30 years to detect risk factors.

Participation in the study

Only those who receive a letter of invitation from one of the 18 NAKO Study Centres may take part in the study. Selection of the addressees is random from local resident registers. Participation in the study is voluntary. The tests may only be carried out with the consent of the study participants, who may rescind their participation at any time.

For the first ten years, the study will be financed by means of 210 million euro of funds from the German Federal Ministry for Research and the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. NAKO is an initiative of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, the universities, the Leibniz Association and departmental research bodies.


Prof. Tobias Pischon (left), Speaker and Head of the Study Centre Berlin-Nord of the NAKO Health Study and study investigator Dr. Sabine Mall (right) congratulate Claudia Piedel (4th from right), 5000. study participant, together with their NAKO coworkers. Image: MDC


Vera Glaßer
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
Head of Communications department (interim)
Tel: +49 30 94 06 - 2120



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