EPIC Centres


  Background | Follow-up | Scientists | Funding  | Activities 


The EPIC study in the Netherlands is based in two research centres: Bilthoven and Utrecht. The populations in the two cohorts have been recruited from the general population (Bilthoven) and from among women attending the national breast cancer screening programme (Utrecht). Recruitment was carried out in 1993—1997.
In 2006—2007, the two Dutch cohorts merged into one cohort (www.epicnl.eu) to gain efficiency and sample size and to optimize the use of the data locally. Repeated data-collections have taken place in 2012 and 2017.

Bilthoven: In Bilthoven, EPIC is coordinated by the Department for Determinants of Chronic Diseases of the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment. Data collection for EPIC was incorporated in the MORGEN study and is called the MORGEN-EPIC cohort study. The MORGEN study was set up to monitor risk factors and chronic diseases of major public health importance in the Netherlands. At baseline, the prevalence of risk factors for chronic diseases was determined using self-administered questionnaires and a physical examination in a randomly selected sample of men and women from the Dutch population aged 20—59 years in three towns in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Doetinchem, and Maastricht).

Utrecht: The Utrecht EPIC cohort is coordinated by the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care of the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) and is called Prospect-EPIC. It recruited women aged 49—70 years from the breast cancer screening programme in Utrecht and its surroundings.

Males Females Number of participants Percentage of EPIC cohort
Bilthoven 10 260 12 394 22 654 4.35%
Utrecht 0 17 357 17 357 3.33%
Netherlands 10 260 29 751 40 011 7.67%


Participants are followed up over time for changes in exposure and for the occurrence of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other medical conditions by linkage to several registries, such as the Netherlands Cancer Registry, the causes of death registry of Statistics Netherlands, and the hospital discharge diagnoses through the Dutch Centre for Health Care Information.


MORGEN-EPIC, Bilthoven

Principal Investigator
W. M. Monique Verschuren
Head, Department for Determinants of Chronic Diseases
Database Manager
Jan van der Laan
Data Manager
Other key people
Jolanda Boer
Senior Scientist
Dr Daphne van der A
Senior Scientist
Annemieke M.W. Spijkerman
Senior Scientist

Prospect-EPIC, Utrecht

Principal Investigator
Roel Vermeulen
Senior Scientist
Co-Investigator or Study Coordinator
N. Charlotte Onland-Moret
Senior Scientist
Database Manager
Susan van Hemert
Data Manager
Other key people
Anne M. May
Senior Scientist
Petra H Peeters
Senior Scientist
Yvonne v der Schouw
Senior scientist
Ivonne Sluijs.
Senior Scientist
Marije Bakker
Senior Scientist


Financial support is provided by:
  • Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports
  • Dutch Prevention Funds
  • LK Research Funds
  • Dutch ZON (Zorg Onderzoek Nederland)
  • World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)

Research Activities

  • Risk factors for gastrointestinal cancers
  • Weight, weight change, and physical activity in relation to cancer
  • Plant foods and related biomarkers and cancer
  • Mammographic density and breast cancer
  • Genes and ovarian cancer
  • Environmental exposures and cancer
  • Healthy Urban Living
  • Lifecourse epidemiology
  • Risk factors for lymphoma and leukemia.
  • Risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases
  • Risk factors Cardio-metabolic health