PROSPECT is a cohort study among 17,357 women aged 49–70 who participated in the nation-wide breast cancer screening programme between 1993 and 1997 (Principal investigator of this EPIC component: Prof. dr. PHM Peeters). At enrolment, the women filled in several questionnaires about their diet, lifestyle and reproductive history. Furthermore, all women underwent a physical examination for measurements of body weight, height and blood pressure and women donated a non-fasting blood sample. After enrolment, these women are followed for the occurrence of diseases by linkage with several registries. These include the Municipality registry for vital status, the Dutch National Cancer registry for occurrence of cancer, the Central Bureau of Statistics registry for causes of death and a National Hospital Discharge Diagnosis registry for occurrence of cardiovascular diseases or type 2 diabetes.
Women also filled in two follow-up questionnaires and reported changes in lifestyle.
More information about the Prospect cohort can be obtained from the website (PROSPECT
PROSPECT has provided an important contribution to the body of disease knowledge.
For example, the PROSPECT data showed that :
- Among women who underwent natural menopause, a higher number of menstrual cycles in lifetime, reflecting a longer exposure to endogenous estrogens, is associated with an increased breast cancer risk.
- Alcohol use may increase breast cancer risk at least partially through an effect on sex steroid levels.
- Phytoestrogens have a protective effect on the risk of atherosclerosis and arterial degeneration through an effect on arterial walls, especially among older women. Phytoestrogens may also reduce the risk of breast cancer.
An overview of all published papers on PROSPECT data can be found on this website by “Publications”.