Please click here to see a complete graphical version of the EPIC-Norfolk study timeline.
A calibration study was carried out on a sample of 600 EPIC-Norfolk participants, to enable dietary comparisons to be made between the 10 European countries taking part in EPIC. This used a standardised and computerised 24-hour diet recall method (EPICsoft). Weight and height measurements were also taken and 24-hour urine collections made. Please see here for relevant publications.
Once the collection of baseline data was complete, it was important to establish what happened to the participant at a later date. The follow-up of participants involved several different methods.
18 month follow-up
All participants who consented to join the study were approached eighteen months later. They were sent an information sheet providing a description of EPIC Europe, and a progress report. 11,449 completed a second 7dDD and 20,514, a follow-up health questionnaire. The eighteen-month gap between diaries was selected to record seasonal variations in diet. If participants responded to this, they were also sent a health and life experiences questionnaire (HLEQ), which was designed specifically for the EPIC-Norfolk study, to help us to understand influences and identify links between aspects of our lives and health. The HLEQ includes questions about our current and past health, as well as about experiences throughout our lives, and takes between 45 minutes and 1 hour to complete.
Second Health Check (Three years)
The aim of the second health check (2HC) was to collect repeat information on general health, anthropometric measurements and diet. However, we also introduced two new measures, relating to bone health and body composition, specifically muscle mass. We wanted to improve our understanding of factors associated with osteoporosis and fractures, as well as frailty and quality of life in this ageing population. Participants were also asked to complete a Physical Activity Questionnaire (PAQ). Please visit the Previous Health Check page for more information.
Third Health Check (Thirteen years)
The Third Health Check (3HC) of the EPIC-Norfolk study ran from 2004 to 2011. The aim of the 3HC was to revisit participants and obtain repeat measures to add to the information we already had from the previous two health checks; also to expand the study further by including new measures. In this phase we also investigated physical and cognitive function to understand factors affecting healthy aging and quality of life. We also conducted a detailed eye assessment using some of the latest technology in optic nerve and retinal photography, investigating the eyes and vision and how lifestyle and environmental factors influence the risk of developing eye diseases, in particular, glaucoma and age related macular degeneration: the two major causes of irreversible blindness in this country. Please visit the Previous Health Check page for more information.
Fourth Health Check (Twenty years)
The aim of this phase of EPIC-Norfolk was to investigate the levels and patterns of physical activity undertaken by our participants and to relate this to body composition. We hope that our research will contribute to developing interventions aimed at keeping people more active as they get older. There is also a lot of interest in not only how much fat a person has, but also in where the fat is located within the body. Current research indicates that if fat is carried mainly around the waist, a person is considered to be more at risk of developing obesity-related health concerns such as diabetes. Our research has the potential to identify factors which could help in the prevention of these common diseases. Please visit the Previous Health Check page for more information.
Fifth Health Check (Twenty three years)
The aim of this phase of EPIC-Norfolk (5HC) was to investigate measures to better understand how health changes as we age, and further clarify the factors that influence the ageing process and risk of disease. We assessed cognitive function (including memory), the levels and patterns of physical activity undertaken by participants, in relation to change in function and body composition with age. Please visit the Previous Health Check page for more information.