Hoorn studies

The Hoorn Studies


The Hoorn Study and New Hoorn Study cohorts were established to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of impaired glucose metabolism, diabetes and diabetes-related complications in a predominately Caucasian population and whether increasing rates of longevity, physical inactivity and obesity affected the prevalence and risk factors of disturbances in glucose metabolism. The studies are unique, as the Hoorn Study was followed up for 5 times over the past 25 years and the New Hoorn Study was followed up twice, including extensive (cardio)metabolic profiling.


Aged 40-75y, were recruited in two time periods 1989-1991 and 2006-2007 from Hoorn, which is a medium-size town in the West-Friesland region of the Netherlands. In total, 5291 participants of which 54% men joined the baseline visit. Over the past 25 years, the total Hoorn Study cohort was followed up for two times and a subgroup of the Hoorn study for five times. In the past ten years, the total New Hoorn Study was followed up once and a subgroup of the New Hoorn study for three times. In addition to physical follow up, all participants are followed up for vital status by linkage with the municipality register and for occurrence of chronic diseases and causes of death, by checking their medical records.

Design and measures:

At the baseline visit, we determined glucose metabolism, anthropometrics, blood plasma lipid levels, renal function, blood pressure, family history of diabetes as well as several self-reported SES and behavioral measures. Moreover, in a subgroup of the population, follow up included assessment of diabetes complications retinopathy, nephropathy, autonomic or peripheral nervous system dysfunction as well as cardiac and vascular structure and function. At all visits additional measurements have been conducted, which vary from visit to visit. From each participant, several samples of DNA, plasma, serum, citrate and urine and were stored in our biobank for future use.

Unique features:

The main strengths of the Hoorn Study and the New Hoorn Study are their prospective design with long follow-up of over 10-25 years. Another strength is the use of oral glucose tolerance testing and HbA1c for detection of (pre-)diabetes and the availability of many vascular risk factors, such as intima-media thickness, ankle-brachial index, vascular stiffness and cardiac function. Another strength is the availability of a comprehensive set of confounders, a biobank and several follow-up measurements allowing us to track risk factors of cardiometabolic diseases over time. 

Collaboration and data access:

Hoorn and New Hoorn data are accessible via a collaboration agreement with the steering committee, contact hoornstudy@vumc.nl. For additional information, please see www.hoornstudies.com


[ updated: August 2017 ]