The German COPD cohort COSYCONET: Aims, methods and descriptive analysis of the study population at baseline

Annika Karch, Claus Vogelmeier, Tobias Welte, Robert Bals, Hans-Ulrich Kauczor, Juergen Biederer, Joachim Heinrich, Holger Schulz, Sven Glaeser, Rolf Holle, Henrik Watz, Stephanie Korn, Nina Adaskina, Frank Biertz, Charlotte Vogel, Jorgen Vestbo, Emiel F. M. Wouters, Klaus Friedrich Rabe, Sandra Soehler, Armin Koch*Rudolf A. Joerres*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The German COPD cohort study COSYCONET ("COPD and SYstemic consequences-COmorbidities NETwork") investigates the interaction of lung disease, comorbidities and systemic inflammation. Recruitment took place from 2010 to 2013 in 31 study centers. In addition to the baseline visit, follow-up visits are scheduled at 6, 18, 36 and 54 months after baseline. The study also comprises a biobank, image bank, and includes health economic data. Here we describe the study design of COSYCONET and present baseline data of our COPD cohort. Methods: Inclusion criteria were broad in order to cover a wide range of patterns of the disease. In each visit, patients undergo a large panel of assessments including e.g. clinical history, spirometry, body plethysmography, diffusing capacity, blood samples, 6-min walk-distance, electrocardiogram and echocardiography. Chest CTs are collected if available and CTs and MRIs are performed in a subcohort. Data are entered into eCRFs and subjected to several stages of quality control. Results: Overall, 2741 subjects with a clinical diagnosis of COPD were included (59% male; mean age 65 +/- 8.6 years (range 40-90)). Of these, 8/35/32/9% presented with GOLD stages I-IV; 16% were uncategorized, including the former GOLD-0 category. 24% were active smokers, 68% ex-smokers and 8% never-smokers. Data completeness was 96% for the baseline items. Conclusion: The German COPD cohort comprises patients with advanced and less advanced COPD. This is particularly useful for studying the time course of COPD in relation to comorbidities. Baseline data indicate that COSYCONET offers the opportunity to investigate our research questions in a large-scale, high-quality dataset.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-37
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • COPD
  • Comorbidity
  • Systemic inflammation
  • Cohort
  • Study design

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