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UMCG Groningen Epidemiologic Research into an Ageing Society


​​​Geras is a UMCG initiative and part of the third research pillar, next to existing fundamental research on biological mechanisms that causes ageing (ERIBA) and the population-based cohort LifeLines.

Geras, in the Greek mythology the god of old age, stands for Groningen Epidemiologic Research into an Ageing Society.  To achieve this, Geras stimulates the development of databanks for scientific research. Within 5-10 years, study results are expected that will contribute to specific care improvements. Patients are asked informed consent to provide their (medical) data for scientific research, if necessary supplemented with biomaterials that remained after diagnostic or treatment procedures (e.g. urine), extra data, and extra biomaterials (e.g. questionnaires and an extra blood tube).
Preferably these databanks use existing registries (e.g. electronic patient records) and stimulate studies on the improvement of quality of life and care. The focus is on subjects’ functioning and wellbeing in their own environment.

Complex care

The focus of Geras is on patients who need complex care, for example patients who are frail or have multi-morbidity: from neonates to persons older than 85 years of age who are hospitalized with a fractured hip and have other problems, like dementia.
Several disciplines are involved in the care provided which complicates the coordination of care.

The Geras start-grants supported the initiation of data-/biobanks for the following patient groups:

  • Neonates born before their thirtieth week of life (NeoLifeS);
  • Cancer patients (OncoLifeS);
  • Cardiac patients (CardioLines);
  • Patients with low back pain (Groningen Spine Cohort);
  • Older adults (Seniorlines).

Our purpose is to add more patient groups with complex care in the future.

Cultural change

Geras intends to stimulate a cultural change where all health care professionals, for the benefit of patients, take a more critical look on their actions and look beyond their discipline more frequently and with more awareness. What care do we provide, is it efficient, patient centered (does the patient want these diagnostic and treatment procedures?), who are involved, and how is it coordinated?

Total care chain

Also after discharge, patients will be followed up to evaluate the care provided and its consequences on quality of life.

Researchers, health insurance companies, patient organizations and others who are interested and see possibilities for collaboration are kindly requested to contact the project leaders or Erik Buskens, Project leader GERAS.3


Mail Erik Buskens at Contact