The environment is receiving growing attention in medical research with respect to its relationship with health problems and well-being of individuals. The Amsterdam Public Health research institute of Amsterdam UMC (former EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research or EMGO+) has recognized the importance of environmental factors for public health. Therefore, this institute had initiated and funded the Geoscience and Health Cohort Consortium (GECCO). The NESDA study is part of this consortium.
In GECCO, databases of six large-scale and ongoing cohort studies within APH have been enriched with a variety of existing geo-data: existing geo-information on address-, zip code-, as well as neighbourhood level from different sources were collected. Data were collected for several years, depending on the database used. All geo-data have been documented. For the data-linking between the collected geo-data and respondents of each specific cohort study, 4-digits zip codes and 6-digits zip codes are used as identifier. Examples of collected geo-data are: road-, rail-, and air traffic noise on address-level, and number of different types of facilities (e.g., specific types of health care facilities, sport facilities, educational facilities, and socio-cultural facilities) on 4-digits zip code level.
The six cohort studies that are involved in GECCO are Generations2-study, the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA), the Netherlands Longitudinal Study on Hearing, the Netherlands Study on Depression and Anxiety (NESDA), the Netherlands Twin Register (NTR), and the New Hoorn Study. The collaboration between the six cohort studies within GECCO stimulates large-scale research studies on environmental impacts on health in the Netherlands.