The Gazel cohort
An «open epidemiologic laboratory»
Epidemiology is the scientific discipline that studies the health of populations. Only by epidemiologic methods can we determine the frequency of health problems, their distribution according to diverse criteria (age, sex, occupational and social status, region, etc.), and their course over time. Epidemiology also allows us to understand the determinants of health status and of diseases. Epidemiology uses different methods; among these, diverse characteristics make cohorts a tool of choice.
The GAZEL cohort, set up in 1989 by Inserm Unit 88 (subsequently Unit 687), in cooperation with several departments of électricité de France-Gaz de France (EDF-GDF). EDF-GDF was a public utility firm in France involved in production, transmission and distribution of energy. GAZEL initially included 20 624 volunteers working at EDF-GDF (15 010 men and 5614 women), aged from 35 to 50 years.
GAZEL is an open epidemiologic laboratory. Like major scientific instruments (telescopes or particle accelerators, for example, or genotyping laboratories equipped with sequencers), GAZEL was not constructed to answer a specific question. Instead it was designed to help analyze a wide range of scientific problems and is accessible to the community of researchers specializing in epidemiology.
In accordance with its purpose as a scientific research platform, the GAZEL cohort is permanently open to epidemiologic research teams. Today, more than 50 projects on very diversified themes have been set up in GAZEL by some 20 teams, French, belonging to different bodies, and foreign (Germany, Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, Sweden, Finland, and USA).
Lifepath : Gazel in Europe
-July 20th 2015-
Researchers in 10 countries have begun a major new project studying the link between socioeconomic status and healthy ageing. The Lifepath project, coordinated by Professor Paolo Vineis from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, involves 15 institutions in Europe, the US and Australia. It has been supported by a six million euro grant from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. It is mainly based on the analysis of data collected in population-based cohorts in several European countries, Gazel being one of them.