The Gutenberg Health Study is a population-based, prospective, single-center cohort study that started in 2007 at the University Medical Center Mainz. The project focuses on cardiovascular diseases, cancer, eye diseases, metabolic diseases, diseases of the immune system and mental diseases. The study aims at improving the individual risk prediction for diseases. Therefore, lifestyle, psychosocial factors, environment, laboratory parameters as well as the extent of the subclinical disease are investigated. A comprehensive biobank enables biomolecular examinations including a systems biological approach. During the baseline visit 15,000 individuals aged 35-74 years were invited to a 5 h examination program in the study center. This will be followed by a computer-assisted telephone interview with a standardized interview and assessment of endpoints after 2.5 years. After 5 years a detailed follow-up examination comparable to the visit at study inclusion will be performed in the study center. Further follow-up visits of the cohort are envisaged.