Cohort profile: the Food Chain Plus (FoCus) cohort.


Corinna Geisler, Kristina Schlicht, Carina Knappe, Nathalie Rohmann, Katharina Hartmann, Kathrin Türk, Ute Settgast, Dominik M Schulte, Tobias Demetrowitsch, Julia Jensen-Kroll, Alina Pisarevskaja, Fynn Brix, Bärbel Gruber, Gerald Rimbach, Frank Döring, Philip Rosenstiel, Andre Franke, Stefan Schreiber, Christian H C A Henning, Wolfgang Lieb, Ute Nöthlings, Karin Schwarz, Matthias Laudes

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The Food Chain Plus (FoCus) cohort was launched in 2011 for population-based research related to metabolic inflammation. To characterize this novel pathology in a comprehensive manner, data collection included multiple omics layers such as phenomics, microbiomics, metabolomics, genomics, and metagenomics as well as nutrition profiling, taste perception phenotyping and social network analysis. The cohort was set-up to represent a Northern German population of the Kiel region. Two-step recruitment included the randomised enrolment of participants via residents’ registration offices and via the Obesity Outpatient Centre of the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH). Hence, both a population- and metabolic inflammation- based cohort was created. In total, 1795 individuals were analysed at baseline. Baseline data collection took place between 2011 and 2014, including 63% females and 37% males with an age range of 18-83 years. The median age of all participants was 52.0 years [IQR: 42.5; 63.0 years] and the median baseline BMI in the study population was 27.7 kg/m2 [IQR: 23.7; 35.9 kg/m2]. In the baseline cohort, 14.1% of participants had type 2 diabetes mellitus, which was more prevalent in the subjects of the metabolic inflammation group (MIG; 31.8%). Follow-up for the assessment of disease progression, as well as the onset of new diseases with changes in subject’s phenotype, diet or lifestyle factors is planned every 5 years. The first follow-up period was finished in 2020 and included 820 subjects.