In 1960 a random sample of 878 out of 1088 men aged 40-59 from the town of Zutphen in the eastern part of The Netherlands was examined for the Seven Countries Study. The survey consisted of a medical examination including an electrocardiogram and major cardiovascular risk factors such as serum cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking. This survey was repeated annually in the period 1960-1973. Additional risk factors such as energy expenditure and lung function were measured in 1965 and a complete glucose tolerance test in 1970. The Zutphen Study is unique because of its dietary surveys carried out in all participants in 1960, 1965 and 1970. Between 1973 and 1985 only one cardiovascular survey was carried out in 1977/78.
The Zutphen Elderly Study
In 1985 when 50% of the participants had died, the cohort was extended with an additional random sample of men from the same birth cohort. The survey consisted of three parts: a similar cardiovascular examination as in the first 25 years of the study, a dietary survey and a questionnaire that provided information about the physical, mental and social aspects of health. In total 939 out of 1266 men participated in one of the three surveys, of which 887 underwent the cardiovascular examination. The surveys were repeated in 1990, 1995 and 2000 and in 1990 also a physical performance test and a glucose tolerance test were carried out.
Read also about the other studies:
In the second phase, that started in 1984, the field surveys were extended with different aspects of health in the FINE study (Finland Italy Netherlands Elderly). Similar studies were carried out in Serbia and Crete. Read more about the FINE study.
The HALE project (Healthy Ageing: a Longitudinal study in Europe) started in 2001 as an extension of three longitudinal studies: the Seven Countries Study, the Finland Italy Netherlands Elderly (FINE) Study and the Survey Europe on Nutrition in the Elderly: a Concerted Action study (SENECA). Read more about the HALE project