The EPIPorto study is a landmark in epidemiological research in Portugal. It is a population-based cohort study, ongoing for over 15 years, with the main aim of assessing the determinants of health in the adult population of Porto. For this purpose we randomly selected 2485 persons, who have been repeatedly evaluated over time.
Participants were invited to visit the study centre to answer a questionnaire on social, demographic and behavioural characteristics, and their clinical history. Additionally, objective measurements were made, including blood tests, blood pressure, weight and height, electrocardiogram, evaluation of lung function and bone mineral density. The participants’ address was georeferenced, allowing the analysis of the spatial distribution of health states and events in the city. Subgroups of the cohort at the baseline evaluation were used as controls in case-control studies namely on myocardial infarction and gastric cancer.
Beyond the substantial findings on the population’s health states, the study was the basis for the development and validation of health measurement tools such as a food frequency questionnaire to assess food intake in the previous year and a non-invasive method to assess bone mineral density in the calcaneus. Designed and coordinated by researchers in Epidemiology, the study team has involved at the various stages professionals from diverse disciplines, always including clinicians specialized in the areas of the studied health outcomes, namely cardiologists and internists, rheumatologists, pneumologists and allergic diseases experts, neurologists, psychiatrists.
Many scientific questions were answered by the analysis of these data, resulting in the publication of dozens of scientific papers mostly in international journals, as well as in PhD and Master's theses, thus also contributing to the post-graduate education and training in Epidemiology and Public Health.