DESIGN & METHODOLOGY

Bialystok PLUS is a cohort study designed to identify novel risk factors for lifestyle diseases. It is very unique due to multidisciplinary approach – we investigate wide spectrum of biological, social, emotional and environmental factors. This is the only such study in Poland and one of the few worldwide.

Participants and study design

During the years 2018-2024 we plan to invite to participate in the study 10000 inhabitants of Bialystok aged 20-80 years. We have performed query among the potential participants to find out how many would be willing to turn up. Based on this and the experience of the SHIP study in Greifswald we expect approximately 50% participation rate, therefore we assume 5000 subjects will be examined. They will be randomly selected from the registry of Bialystok inhabitants run by the Bialystok City Council. Stratified sampling is being performed, based on sex and age strata (10-year intervals) in order the sample to be representative for gender and age distribution in Bialystok population. All the participants undergo detailed and comprehensive evaluation of their health status.

Participants are being invited for the visits via letters. After return contact from the potential participant (by phone, post, e-mail or web), assumed to be an initial consent for participation in the study, the next letter includes invitation as well as description of the study, its aims, planned procedures, contact details and a questionnaire concerning medical history. If the initial invitation produces no response, we try to contact again. Participants are asked to be fasting on the day of the visit. After signing the informed consent the examination procedures take place (Table) . Participants receive all available results of performed tests. In the case of any abnormal findings they are informed to contact General Practitioner. In the case of abnormal findings indicating direct threat to health or life, a physician present at the study site decides about further management.  The whole examination lasts approximately 7-8 hours per participant.

Study flowchart