In collaboration with the municipality of Nijmegen and the community health service Nijmegen the first phase of the NBS was conducted between 2001 and 2003. First, the logistic set-up of the NBS1 was tested in a pilot study that was performed between November 2001 and February 2002. A random sample of names and addresses of 650 males and females of 18 years and older was obtained via the registers of the municipality Nijmegen. All have received a questionnaire (QN) with questions related to lifestyle, health, disease, and medication use; 342 QNS were filled out (response 53%). Of those people that have returned a completed questionnaire, 262 (77%) have also donated a sample of blood. The procedure of blood sampling was slightly altered after the pilot study; the number of options with regard to time of donation were increased and the number of places for blood donation were decreased. Then, a random sample from the register of the population of Nijmegen, stratified on sex and 5-year age groups, was taken on July 1 2002. All men and women over 18 years, not living in institutions and rest homes, and able to fill out a Dutch questionnaire, were eligible. In total 22,451 inhabitants of  the municipality of Nijmegen received an invitation to fill out a postal questionnaire on, e.g., lifestyle and medical history, and to donate an 8.5 ml blood sample in a serum separator tube and a 10 ml EDTA blood sample. 96% was of Dutch nationality and 79% was born in the Netherlands. The age distribution is depicted in Table 1.


Age group

Number (%)

18 – 29 years

3370 (15.0%)

30 – 39 years

3438 (15.3%)

40 – 49 years

3242 (14.4%)

50 – 59 years

3196 (14.2%)

60 – 69 years

3203 (14.3%)

70 – 79 years

3072 (13.7%)

≥ 80 years

2930 (13.1%)



Table 1: Age distribution age and sex stratified sample, July 1 2002


The response to the questionnaire was 42% (N=9350). 69% (N=6468) of the responders donated blood samples (see Figure 1). For detailed information on the questions included in the NBS1 questionnaire see section ‘Researcher data'. The serum and plasma samples have been stored in the Radboud Biobank. A number of measurements have been performed in these samples and DNA has been isolated (see section ‘Researcher data').



Figure 1: Response to questionnaire (QN) and blood donation.