European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 513–523 | Cite as

The Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity (NEO) study: study design and data collection

  • Renée de Mutsert
  • Martin den Heijer
  • Ton Johannes Rabelink
  • Johannes Willem Adriaan Smit
  • Johannes Anthonius Romijn
  • Johan Wouter Jukema
  • Albert de Roos
  • Christa Maria Cobbaert
  • Margreet Kloppenburg
  • Saskia le Cessie
  • Saskia Middeldorp
  • Frits Richard Rosendaal


Obesity is a well-established risk factor for many chronic diseases. Incomplete insight exists in the causal pathways responsible for obesity-related disorders and consequently, in the identification of obese individuals at risk of these disorders. The Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity (NEO) study is designed for extensive phenotyping to investigate pathways that lead to obesity-related diseases. The NEO study is a population-based, prospective cohort study that includes 6,673 individuals aged 45–65 years, with an oversampling of individuals with overweight or obesity. At baseline, data on demography, lifestyle, and medical history have been collected by questionnaires. In addition, samples of 24-h urine, fasting and postprandial blood plasma and serum, and DNA were collected. Participants underwent an extensive physical examination, including anthropometry, electrocardiography, spirometry, and measurement of the carotid artery intima-media thickness by ultrasonography. In random subsamples of participants, magnetic resonance imaging of abdominal fat, pulse wave velocity of the aorta, heart, and brain, magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the liver, indirect calorimetry, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or accelerometry measurements were performed. The collection of data started in September 2008 and completed at the end of September 2012. Participants are followed for the incidence of obesity-related diseases and mortality. The NEO study investigates pathways that lead to obesity-related diseases. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the development of disease in obesity may help to identify individuals who are susceptible to the detrimental metabolic, cardiovascular and other consequences of obesity and has implications for the development of prevention and treatment strategies.


Cardiovascular disease Cohort Diabetes Epidemiology Obesity Study design 



The NEO study is supported by the participating Departments, the Division and the Board of Directors of the Leiden University Medical Centre, and by the Leiden University, Research Profile Area ‘Vascular and Regenerative Medicine’. We express our gratitude to all individuals who participate in the Netherlands Epidemiology in Obesity study. We are grateful to all participating general practitioners for inviting eligible participants. We furthermore thank M.W.M. de Waal, PhD and H.J. de Jong, MSc of the Leiden Eerstelijns Onderzoeks Netwerk for their assistance with the recruitment. We greatly acknowledge P.R. van Beelen and research nurses: E. Baak; N. Besling; M.L. Bruijning; M.M. Bussink; A.M. van Diemen; C. van Dijk; K.K.M. Glas; C.H. van Houwelingen; M. van Houwelingen; L.A.M. Janssen; K.B.A. de Koning; S. van Luijken; D. Malsen; S.A. Meertens; W.M. Ninaber-de Jong; M. Ottenhof; S.J. Randelia; J. van Rewijk; V.C.E. van der Slot; J. Terpstra-Bevelander; I. Verhoogt; B. Vink; J.P. de Vreugd; E.C. Willems of Brilman for collecting the data, P.J. Noordijk; A.G.F Reymer; B.E.P.B. Ballieux; J.C.M. Verhagen for laboratory procedures and management, and R.J. van den Berg; M.W.J. Bergman; N. Brak; R. van Eck, BSc; L. Gullerud-Edberg; E.J. Hoenderdos; L. Mahic; J. van Rewijk; E.C. Sierat-van der Steen; A.K. Smeding, BSc; C.E. van der Velden-Krijgsman, MSc; C.H.E. de Vries-van Lingen; X. Yang for sample handling. We thank J. van Amersfoort; J. Bijsterbosch, MD; P. Dibbets-Schneider; M. van Dijk; J.M. Gast-Strookman; E. Ghariq; M.S. den Heyer-de Zoete; B. van der Hiel, MD; M.E. Janson; R.C. de Jeu; W.Y. Kwok, A.C. van der Linden; G.J.K. Linthorst-Pikkaart; M. Loef; M. Los; A.C. Maan; S. Ramanand; B.A.M.J. van Schie-Geyer; J.E.H. Schoumans-Mens; R. Schot; R.G.M. van Steijn; MD; R. Suttorius; D.H. Versteeg; A.O. Westerlaken for their help in data collection. We thank O.M. Dekkers, MD, PhD; L.J.M. Kroft, MD; M. Reijnierse, MD for medical assistance. The fellows A.W. de Boer, MD; E. Donga, MD; K.B. Gast, MD; S. Hillebrand, MSc; W.T. Thijs, MD; A.W. Visser, MSc; R.L. Widya, MD; E. Yusuf, MD took part in the data collection. We sincerely thank I. de Jonge, MSc for all data management of the NEO study. We thank Danone Research Centre for Specialised Nutrition B.V., Wageningen, for providing the mixed meal.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renée de Mutsert
    • 1
  • Martin den Heijer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ton Johannes Rabelink
    • 3
  • Johannes Willem Adriaan Smit
    • 4
  • Johannes Anthonius Romijn
    • 4
  • Johan Wouter Jukema
    • 5
  • Albert de Roos
    • 6
  • Christa Maria Cobbaert
    • 7
  • Margreet Kloppenburg
    • 1
    • 8
  • Saskia le Cessie
    • 1
    • 9
  • Saskia Middeldorp
    • 1
  • Frits Richard Rosendaal
    • 1
    • 10
  1. 1.Department of Clinical EpidemiologyLeiden University and Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineVU Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of NephrologyLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of EndocrinologyLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Department of CardiologyLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Department of RadiologyLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  7. 7.Department of Clinical ChemistryLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  8. 8.Department of RheumatologyLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  9. 9.Department of Medical Statistics and Bio-informaticsLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  10. 10.Department of Thrombosis and HemostasisLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands

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