The meaning of CHRIS (Cooperative Health Research In South Tyrol) captures the essence and purpose of the project itself: it is a prospective epidemiological research study centered around the health of people living in South Tyrol. It represents a true partnership between the people participating, the staff working in the health care system and the research personnel of the Institute for Biomedicine at Eurac Research.
The prevalence of chronic diseases is slowly but constantly increasing, due both to the aging of the population and to better diagnostic procedures. At the same time, diagnosis is often made after the illness is established, when preventative medicine has less chance of success. In many cases no effective preventative measures are known. Common diseases such as cardiac or respiratory disorders, diabetes or neurological conditions have many unanswered questions: What causes such diseases? What role does lifestyle, genes or a person's environment play in the onset and progression? Are there interactions between any of the influential factors for positive or negative outcomes?
Prospective cohorts are perfect models for epidemiological studies: they are large groups of people that are followed over time (every 4/5 years) and from whom clinical parameters, medical history, and life-style information, such as diet, physical activity, and exposure to environmental factors (e.g. coffee drinking and smoking habits), are progressively collected. With such information we can begin to assess the extent to which some of these factors, alone or together with genetic susceptibility, can explain some of these common diseases, their severity or lack thereof.
The CHRIS Study is an ambitious project that raises from the collaboration between the Local Health System and Eurac Research, and that aims to involve individuals aged 18 or older by taking part of an interview, enrolling in a quick free clinical assessment, and by providing a small sample of blood.
Participation in the CHRIS Study is completely voluntary. Individuals participating will get a feedback on some of the health parameters being measured, taking the first step towards proactive prevention and improved personal health. Equally important, their participation will provide the local health system with insights for the creation of preventive medicine plans, laying the foundation for improved health care for all of the people of South Tyrol. Finally, participants will aid in the creation of what we hope will be one of the most important research centers in the medical field focusing on neurological and cardiovascular diseases.Epidemiological studies need several hundreds or thousands of people to confirm the goodness of their results.
For this reason the CHRIS Study will also bring its contribute to a much larger epidemiological study that will be ongoing in Germany (German National Cohort), which aims to answer the same questions by collecting information from approximately 200,000 individuals. The CHRIS Study started in August 2011.
For access to data and biosamples for research purposes see the CHRIS-Page of the Institute for Biomedicine.
For further info: 0471 055 502 - firstname.lastname@example.org or please check the German or Italian webpage