European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 439–451 | Cite as

The Maastricht Study: an extensive phenotyping study on determinants of type 2 diabetes, its complications and its comorbidities

  • Miranda T. Schram
  • Simone J. S. Sep
  • Carla J. van der Kallen
  • Pieter C. Dagnelie
  • Annemarie Koster
  • Nicolaas Schaper
  • Ronald M. A. Henry
  • Coen D. A. Stehouwer


The Maastricht Study is an extensive phenotyping study that focuses on the etiology of type 2 diabetes (T2DM), its classic complications, and its emerging comorbidities. The study uses state-of-the-art imaging techniques and extensive biobanking to determine health status in a population-based cohort of 10,000 individuals that is enriched with T2DM individuals. Enrollment started in November 2010 and is anticipated to last 5–7 years. The Maastricht Study is expected to become one of the most extensive phenotyping studies in both the general population and T2DM participants world-wide. The Maastricht study will specifically focus on possible mechanisms that may explain why T2DM accelerates the development and progression of classic complications, such as cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy and of emerging comorbidities, such as cognitive decline, depression, and gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and respiratory diseases. In addition, it will also examine the association of these variables with quality of life and use of health care resources. This paper describes the rationale, overall study design, recruitment strategy and methods of basic measurements, and gives an overview of all measurements that are performed within The Maastricht Study.


Cardiovascular disease Chronic disease Comorbidity Pathophysiology Prospective cohort study Study design Type 2 diabetes 



Advanced glycation end products


Anatomical therapeutic chemical classification system


Dynamic vessel analysis






High resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography


Impaired fasting glucose


Impaired glucose tolerance


Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity


Normal glucose tolerance


Optical coherence tomography


Oral glucose tolerance test


Type 2 diabetes mellitus


Vertebral fracture assessment



This study is supported by the European Regional Development Fund as part of OP-ZUID, the province of Limburg, the department of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands (grant 31O.041), Stichting the Weijerhorst, the Pearl String Initiative Diabetes, the Cardiovascular Center Maastricht, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism (NUTRIM), Stichting Annadal, Health Foundation Limburg and by unrestricted grants from Janssen, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. The regional association of General Practitioners (Zorg in Ontwikkeling (ZIO)) is gratefully acknowledged for their contribution to The Maastricht Study, enabling the invitation of individuals with T2DM by using information from their web-based electronic health record. Members of The Maastricht Study Group in alphabetic order: L.J. Anteunis, I.C.W. Arts, P. van Assema, W.H. Backes, T. Berendschot, A. Boonen, H. Bosma, H.P. Brunner- La Rocca, H.J. Crijns, P.C. Dagnelie, J.W. Dallinga, F. de Vries, H. de Vries, N.K. de Vries, N.H.T.M. Dukers-Muijrers, P.J. Emans, S. Evers, P.P. Geusens, A.P. Gorgels, R.M.A. Henry, D. Hilkman, C.J.P.A. Hoebe, A.P. Hoeks, P.A. Hofman, A.J. Houben, J.F.A. Jansen, M.A. Joore, M.E. Kooi, A. Koster, D. Kotz, S.P.J. Kremers, A.A. Kroon, A.A. Masclee, W.H. Mess, I. Mesters, J.W. Muris, C. Neef, N. Reijven, R.S. Reneman, J.P. Reulen, M. Sastry, H.H. Savelberg, P. Savelkoul, C.G. Schalkwijk, N.C. Schaper, F.J. van Schooten, U. Schotten, J.S. Schouten, M.T. Schram, S.J.S. Sep, J.A. Staessen, C.D.A. Stehouwer, E.E. Stobberingh, M.P.J. van Boxtel, J.P. van den Bergh, C.P. van der Grinten, C.J. van der Kallen, S. van der Linden, M.C. van Dongen, T.A. van Geel, R.J. van Oostenbrugge, L. van Osch, F.H. Vanmolkot, F.R.J. Verhey, G.J. Wesseling, J.E. Wildberger, E.F.M. Wouters, L.J. Zimmerman (Maastricht University Medical Center+, Maastricht, the Netherlands) and T. Kuznetsova and T. Richart (University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium), J. Denollet and F. Pouwer (University of Tilburg, Tilburg, the Netherlands) and G.J. Biessels (University of Utrecht, the Netherlands). Advisory Committee: M.J. Daemen (Amsterdam Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands), J.M. Dekker (VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands), A. Hofman (Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands), L.J. Launer (National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, MD, USA), W. van Mechelen (VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, M. Stoll (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster, Deutschland), K. Stronks (Amsterdam Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands), J. Yudkin (Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University College London, Londen, UK).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10654_2014_9889_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miranda T. Schram
    • 1
    • 4
  • Simone J. S. Sep
    • 1
    • 4
  • Carla J. van der Kallen
    • 1
    • 4
  • Pieter C. Dagnelie
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  • Annemarie Koster
    • 3
    • 5
  • Nicolaas Schaper
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ronald M. A. Henry
    • 1
    • 4
  • Coen D. A. Stehouwer
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of MedicineMaastricht University Medical Center+MaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Social MedicineMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM)Maastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  5. 5.School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI)Maastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands

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