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The Austrian LEAD study

The LEAD study is a longitudinal, observational, epidemiological cohort study aiming to investigate respiratory health through life. The survey includes a representative sample of the Austrian general population between 6 and 80 years of age and focuses on three areas:

  1. Normal and pathologic lung growth and development (natural history of lung function).
  2. Genetic, environmental and socioeconomic risk factors for abnormal lung function
  3. Extrapulmonary manifestations of abnormal lung function and related comorbidities (cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, depression and anxiety).

The examination program of the LEAD study comprises the extensive investigation of lung function, cardiac status, body composition parameters (DXA-Scan), sociodemographic and psychosocial characteristics and the collection of blood and urine samples. In addition, data about home and workplace air quality are collected. Each data set comprises more than 5000 variables. Beside the large urban cohort with residents of the city of Vienna the LEAD study sample also includes a smaller cohort of residents from rural areas surrounding Vienna. A detailed summary of objectives and methodology of the LEAD study was published previously [Breyer-Kohansal, Hartl, Burghuber, et al. 2019].

Current status:

Phase 1 of the LEAD survey opened in 2012. Between 2012 and 2016 11.426 participants were recruited and completed the first cross-sectional examination. Phase 2 with the first longitudinal examination (4-years follow-up) started in 2017. Until now more than 6000 participants have been re-examined and the second phase is expected to be finished in February 2021. Phase 3 (8-years follow-up) with the second re-examination will be carried out between 2021 and 2024.