Cambridge University EPIC-Norfolk

 

EPIC-Norfolk: The Third Health Check - Pilot Study

The third health check (3HC) was piloted with participants from Attleborough. The pilot ran from September 2004 through to January 2006 as the EPIC-Norfolk 2004 Study. The pilot study provided a valuable testing ground for a third health check and was used to identify areas of interest and methods of measurement in order to look at aspects of healthy ageing. The positive response to the pilot study contributed to the decision to embark on a full third health check.

 

 

 

EPIC-Norfolk: The Third Health Check (3HC)

 

At the time of the 3HC, the EPIC-Norfolk participants fell into the 50-92 age group. It was therefore important to have more information on diseases and health endpoints of relevance to the older population. We wanted to to see how these may impact on our daily lives making us more prone to serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Repeat assessments in this phase included a follow-up health questionnaire, a 7-day food diary and the same physical measures taken at the first and second health checks: height, weight, hip, waist and chest measurements, blood pressure, lung capacity, heel-bone ultrasound, percentage body fat and a blood sample. New assessments in this phase included memory and cognition testing and a thorough eye examination using some of the latest technology in optic nerve and retinal photography. We looked in particular at glaucoma and age related macular degeneration, which are the two major causes of irreversible blindness in this country. The average 3HC appointment lasted 2.5 hours, which is longer than previous health checks and this was due to this check being far more comprehensive than those carried out previously.

 

The EPIC third health check ran until end of 2011 and was attended by 8623 participants. The number of participants attending this health check was lower than previous phases. This was not due to fewer people being willing or able to attend but due to the nature of the health check and the vast amount of data being collected at this phase. Unfortunately we were unable to see all the participants at the 3HC due to funding constraints, however, participants not approached for the third health check were prioritised at the beginning of the current phase (4HC).

 

 
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