Heidelberg - As part of the NAKO health study, more than 30,000 participants across Germany have now taken part in whole-body magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) examination. This marks an important milestone, emphasized the NAKO board.
Since 2014, women and men between the ages of 20 and 69, randomly drawn from the registration registers, have been medically examined nationwide in 18 study centers and asked about their living conditions . The aim is to research chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatism, infections and depression in more detail. A total of 200,000 people took part in the NAKO study, 30,000 of them in the additional one-hour full-body MRI examination at five MRI study centers in Augsburg, Berlin, Essen, Mannheim and Neubrandenburg.
Various recordings of the areas of the head and spine, the musculoskeletal system, lungs and abdominal organs as well as the heart and blood vessels are recorded. The image data are evaluated by specially certified radiology specialists. “The imaging is done without specific diagnostic protocols. Potentially clinically relevant abnormalities are therefore not referred to as "findings", but rather as "random results", "explained Hans-Ulrich Kauczor, Heidelberg University Hospital and member of the NAKO MR Imaging Core, the" control center "of the MRI sub-project.< According to him, the participants receive information on potentially health-relevant random results according to clearly defined concept: Before the start of the study, experts from the fields of radiology, epidemiology and ethics have determined which random results are to be communicated and with what urgency.
By April 2022, around 18,000 of the Participants are examined for the second time in the MRI. "This makes it possible to compare the development of the health status of the participants over time and to gain further important insights into the emergence and development of various clinical pictures," said Annette Peters, Director of the Institute for Epidemiology at Helmholtz Zentrum München and NAKO CEO.