2019 Volume 29 Issue 8 Pages 315-324
Background: The Lung, hEart, sociAl, boDy (LEAD) Study (ClinicalTrials.gov; NCT01727518; http://clinicaltrials.gov) is a longitudinal, observational, population-based Austrian cohort that aims to investigate the relationship between genetic, environmental, social, developmental and ageing factors influencing respiratory health and comorbidities through life. The general working hypothesis of LEAD is the interaction of these genetic, environmental and socioeconomic factors influences lung development and ageing, the risk of occurrence of several non-communicable diseases (respiratory, cardiovascular, metabolic and neurologic), as well as their phenotypic (ie, clinical) presentation.
Methods: LEAD invited from 2011–2016 a random sample (stratified by age, gender, residential area) of Vienna inhabitants (urban cohort) and all the inhabitants of six villages from Lower Austria (rural cohort). Participants will be followed-up every four years. A number of investigations and measurements were obtained in each of the four domains of the study (Lung, hEart, sociAl, boDy) including data to screen for lung, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, osteoporosis, and cognitive function. Blood and urine samples are stored in a biobank for future investigations.
Results: A total of 11.423 males (47.6%) and females (52.4%), aged 6–80 years have been included in the cohort. Compared to governmental statistics, the external validity of LEAD with respect to age, gender, citizenship, and smoking status was high.
Conclusions: In conclusion, the LEAD cohort has been established following high quality standards; it is representative of the Austrian population and offers a platform to understand lung development and ageing as a key mechanism of human health both in early and late adulthood.