[DEGS: German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults. A nationwide cross-sectional and longitudinal study within the framework of health monitoring conducted by the Robert Koch Institute]

Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2012 Jun;55(6-7):775-80. doi: 10.1007/s00103-012-1498-z.
[Article in German]


The "German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults" (DEGS) is a nationwide longitudinal study carried out by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within the framework of a continuous health monitoring programme. The aim of this study is to provide representative data on the health status of adults in Germany on a regular basis, to calculate trends in the development of health indicators and to gain insights into the development of health during the course of life. These aims are realised by choosing a sampling design which allows establishment and follow-up of a panel and to provide a representative sample in each new wave of data collection. DEGS produces information for comprehensive health reporting, serves as a basis for health policy decision-making and provides data for epidemiological research. The first wave of data collection (DEGS1) was carried out from November 2008 until Dezember 2011 and comprises health interviews and physical examinations as well as blood and urine sampling. Detailed information on health status, health-related behaviour, healthcare and living conditions was gathered. Furthermore the study focuses on chronic diseases, mental health and implications of demographic changes for health. In order to be able to analyse longitudinal data as soon as possible, participants of the National Health Survey 1998 (BGS98) were included in DEGS1. The examination programme carried out in BGS98, was maintained and appended in DEGS1. A total of 8152 persons participated in DEGS1 and of these 3959 were former participants of BGS98. The participants of DEGS1 constitute the baseline cohort for repeated health interviews and examinations in the future. In wave 2, which is planned to begin in the middle of 2014, study participants will be followed up by interviewing. Wave 3 planned to follow in 2017, will again comprise an interview and examination survey with a supplementary sample. First results and basic analyses of all main topics of DEGS1 will follow in this journal in the middle of 2013. A public use file of DEGS1 data will be available for the scientific community by 2014.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies*
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic*
  • Quality of Life*