ECRHS III (2010 – ongoing)

European Community Respiratory Health Survey Follow-up of baseline survey started 1991

Study objectives:
To examine temporal changes in lung function, incidence and remission of respiratory and allergic diseases, as well as to determine associations with new risk factors in adults.

Specific aims:

  • To describe the long-term development of asthma, allergic rhinitis and sensitisation to allergens, including incidence, persistence and remission of these phenotypes.
  • To identify the environmental and genetic determinants associated with the development of asthma, allergic rhinitis and sensitisation.
  • To quantify lung function decline and the incidence of COPD and their determinants, including environmental and work related risk factors.
  • To describe the changes in asthma treatment on population and individual level and their influence on the prevalence of asthma symptoms.

Study design:

20-year follow-up phase of a prospective study in more than 20 European centres in Europe and some other parts of the world.

Study population:
All participants aged 40 to 65 years who took part in the 2nd survey (ECRHS II, 2000-2002).

Study area:
German centres: Erfurt (East Germany), Hamburg (West Germany)

International collaboration centres:
Belgium: Antwerp South, Antwerp City
Denmark: Aarhus
Spain: Barcelona, Galdakao, Albacete, Oviedo, Huelva
France: Bordeaux, Grenoble, Montpellier, Paris
Italy: Pavia, Turin, Verona
UK: Caerphilly, Ipswich, Norwich
Iceland: Reykjavik
Norway: Bergen
Sweden: Goteborg, Umea, Uppsala
Switzerland: Basel
Australia: Melbourne
Estonia: Tartu

Click to enlarge

Study methods:

Screening questionnaire with 16 questions about respiratory health (Stage I)
Interview and medical examination (Stage II)

  • Long questionnaire (interview) and further modules (self completed questionnaires)
  • Height, weight, waist and hip circumference
  • Bioelectrical impedance analysis
  • Blood pressure measurement
  • Blood taking: serum specific IgE measurement and genetic analysis
  • Pulmonary function testing
  • Bronchodilatation
  • Measurement of nitric oxide (NO)

Study period:

10/2010 – ongoing.

Current status:
The German ECRHS III survey started in October 2010. In Erfurt 697 invitation letters were mailed and 500 subjects sent back the completed screening questionnaire. In Hamburg 470 of 857 contacted subjects answered the screening questionnaire (stage I).

All subjects who answered the screening questionnaire are currently invited to the study centres to participate in the medical examination (stage II). 

Helmholtz Zentrum München - Institute of Epidemiology: Joachim Heinrich (Principal investigator), Eva Becker (Coordinator), Gabriele Wölke (Management of fieldwork).
Pulmonary Research Institute at Hospital Grosshansdorf, Center for Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery, Helgo Magnussen (PI), Anne-Marie Kirsten (Clinical Head)
Clinical centre of the University of Munich, Institute of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: Dennis Nowak (Co-PI).

Imperial College London, National Heart and Lung Institute, Respiratory Epidemiology and Public Health Group: Debbie Jarvis (PI).

DFG (Interview and medical examination): GZ: HE 3294/10-1, MA 711/6-1, NO 262/7-1;
EU (IgE measurements)

Helmholtz Zentrum München

Institute of Epidemiology
Dr. Joachim Heinrich
Ingolstädter Landstr. 1

D-85758 Neuherberg

Delegates who attended the ECRHS study group meeting held in Barcelona September 2010
From right, first row, 4th person: Eva Becker (Coordinator), last row, 6th person: Joachim Heinrich (Principal investigator).


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