News items Nine million euros grant for population study with home tests

22 February 2022

The Check@Home project is receiving almost nine million euros from NWO, the Dutch Heart Foundation, the Dutch Kidney Foundation, the Dutch Diabetes Fund and private partners. In the project, parties including hospitals, general practitioners and universities are working together on a large national study into the early detection of diseases with home tests. These include heart, vascular and kidney diseases, and type 2 diabetes. The Radboudumc is a partner in the project and coordinates the study together with Rijnstate hospital in the Arnhem region.

The Netherlands currently lacks a national and easily accessible approach for the early detection of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and chronic kidney damage. Many people do not know that they have these diseases because they do not experience clear symptoms. When these diseases are not detected and treated early, they can lead to serious complications such as kidney failure, stroke, heart attack, or heart failure. These complications have a major impact on quality of life, participation in society, and premature death.

Home tests

The Check@Home project, which is now receiving a nine million euro grant, aims to set up a new population study in which persons between the ages of 50 and 75 can test at home whether they may have these disorders. In this project, a total of 160,000 people from Breda, Utrecht, Arnhem and Eindhoven will be invited to participate in the study. The home tests consist of a urine test, a heart rhythm test and a questionnaire. Early signs of disease will lead to a follow-up examination at a regional diagnostic center.

Pim Assendelft, Professor of Prevention in Healthcare, is involved from the Radboudumc: "With this new population study we expect to reduce the growth of the number of people with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease by a quarter over the next ten years. If we can diagnose the disease, we can help people with targeted lifestyle advice, and medication where necessary. In this way, we greatly improve the quality of life and participation in society, while greatly reducing healthcare costs because we prevent worse."

Healthier living

Radboudumc, together with Rijnstate hospital, is taking responsibility for the implementation of the study in the Arnhem region. In addition, Assendelft is leading a large work package within the project that focuses on optimizing the process after a positive result from a home test. "We are doing this by looking at the added value of a central work-up that relieves the GPs, and by paying a lot of attention to lifestyle counselling. Doctors like to give pills, but sometimes lifestyle advice makes more sense, especially for the conditions in this project. This is another way in which we can relieve the burden on healthcare." Technical University Twente is making an important contribution here.

Assendelft has been working on prevention and early detection of disease for years, including within the regional TOPFIT program, focused on healthy living. "Partly thanks to this regional cooperation, we are an attractive consortium partner for a beautiful and large project like Check@Home."

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