Implementation of the collection of dried blood spots in all countries of SHARE | Munich Center for the Economics of Aging - MEA


01.2012 - 30.11.2015 / SHARE

Implementation of the collection of dried blood spots in all countries of SHARE

Learning from the experiences made in a pilot study in the context of the German subsample of SHARE wave four (see project “Collection of innovative biomarkers in SHARE – a pilot”), and an additional international pretest in six European countries in wave 5, we prepared the collection of dried blood spots (DBS) in most of the SHARE countries in wave 6.

The DBS samples are going to be analysed with regard to biomarkers that are shown to be related to (i) the ageing process, (ii) to age-related diseases as well as (iii) to diseases highly influenced by life style and social environment such as cardiovascular diseases or diabetes. They therefore provide highly relevant information in the context of SHARE. In particular, we plan to analyse total cholesterol, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), C-reactive protein (CRP), a set of cytokines and vitamin D.

This project starts with the obtaining of ethics committee approvals in all participating countries and ensures the compliance with data protection provisions. It includes the evaluation of laboratory validation studies and field results, the preparation of all written materials (e.g. study protocol for ethic approvals in all SHARE countries, interviewer manual, training documents and fieldwork materials), the purchase of all materials needed for collecting DBS samples and planning the logistic processes to distribute these materials to the participating SHARE countries as well as the selection of an appropriate way to having the DBS samples sent to the central biobank in Denmark where they will be stored. This SHARE biobank was installed beforehand in cooperation with the biobank at the Danish Twin Registry (DTR) located at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU).

Furthermore, the project involves designing and testing of the biomarker software module, and computing of fieldwork statistics regarding the biomarker module to control fieldwork progress. Additionally, the conception of the training procedure and the support of country team members and the survey agencies in questions of the DBS collection is part of this project.

This project is conducted in cooperation with Martina Börsch-Supan and Karen Anderson-Ranberg (SDU).

Contact Person(s)

Dipl.-Biol. Luzia Weiss


Federal Ministry of Eduation and Research, BMBF

US National Institute in Aging, NIA

Presentations and Contributions
Dipl.-Biol. Luzia Weiss
The Biomarker Project in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, SHARE
Dipl.-Biol. Luzia Weiss
The Collection of Dried Blot Spots (DBS) in wave 6
Dipl.-Biol. Luzia Weiss
Collection of Dried blood spot samples (DBSS)