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CONSTANCES: a general prospective population-based cohort for occupational and environmental epidemiology: cohort profile
  1. Marcel Goldberg1,2,
  2. Matthieu Carton1,
  3. Alexis Descatha1,3,
  4. Annette Leclerc1,
  5. Yves Roquelaure4,
  6. Gaëlle Santin1,
  7. Marie Zins1,2,
  8. the CONSTANCES team
  1. 1Population-based Epidemiological Cohorts Unit, INSERM UMS 11, Villejuif, France
  2. 2Paris Descartes University, Paris, France
  3. 3Occupational Health Unit, Raymond Poincaré Hospital, Garches, France
  4. 4LEEST, Medical School, Angers University, Angers, France
  1. Correspondence to Professor Marcel Goldberg, INSERM UMS 11, Population-based Epidemiological Cohorts Unit, 16 avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier, Villejuif F-94807, France; marcel.goldberg{at}


Why the cohort was set up?CONSTANCES is a general-purpose cohort with a focus on occupational and environmental factors.

Cohort participants CONSTANCES was designed as a randomly selected sample of French adults aged 18–69 years at inception; 200 000 participants will be included.

Data collection phases At enrolment, the participants are invited to complete questionnaires and to attend a health screening centre (HSC) for a health examination. A biobank will be set up. The follow-up includes an yearly self-administered questionnaire, a periodic visit to an HSC and linkage to social and national health administrative databases.

Main types of data collected Data collected for participants include social and demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, life events and behaviours. Regarding occupational and environmental factors, a wealth of data on organisational, chemical, biological, biomechanical and psychosocial lifelong exposure, as well as residential characteristics, are collected at enrolment and during follow-up. The health data cover a wide spectrum: self-reported health scales, reported prevalent and incident diseases, long-term chronic diseases and hospitalisations, sick-leaves, handicaps, limitations, disabilities and injuries, healthcare usage and services provided, and causes of death.

Control of selection effects To take into account non-participation and attrition, a random cohort of non-participants was set up and will be followed through the same national databases as participants.

Data access Inclusions begun at the end of 2012 and more than 110 000 participants were already included by September 2016. Several projects on occupational and environmental risks already applied to a public call for nested research projects.

  • Population-based cohort
  • Occupational epidemiology
  • Chronic diseases
  • Aging

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  • Contributors MG and MZ planned the study. MC, AD, AL and YR planned the collection of the occupational factors. GS designed the reweighting methods. MG drafted the manuscript, and MG and MZ are responsible for the overall content of the manuscript.

  • Funding The CONSTANCES cohort is supported by the Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Maladie des travailleurs salariés-CNAMTS, and was funded in its pilot phase by the Direction générale de la santé” of the Ministry of Health (CPO 2007–2009), and by the Institut de Recherche en Santé Publique-Institut Thématique Santé Publique, and the following sponsors : Ministère de la santé et des sports, Ministère délégué à la recherche, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale, Institut national du cancer et Caisse nationale de solidarité pour l'autonomie (AMC10003LSA). CONSTANCES is accredited as a ‘National Infrastructure for Biology and health’ by the governmental Investissements d'avenir programme and was funded by the Agence nationale de la recherche (ANR-11-INBS-0002 grant). CONSTANCES also receives funding from MSD, AstraZeneca and Lundbeck managed by INSERM-Transfert. CONSTANCES is conducted in partnership with the National Health Insurance Fund administered by CNAMTS, and with the National Retirement Insurance Fund administered by the Caisse nationale d'assurance vieillesse-CNAV. Quality control procedures are taken in charge by ClinSearch for the data collected in the HSCs, and by Asqualab and EuroCell for the biological data. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the major contribution to the protocol of numerous colleagues, in France and abroad, who helped in the general design of the cohort, and of the participating HSCs. The authors express also their thanks to Dominique Polton from the CNAMTS for her help, and to Christophe Albert and Joël Brulard for the drawing of eligible persons and the access to the CNAV database.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval All confidentiality, safety and security procedures were approved by the French legal authorities. According to the French regulations, the CONSTANCES Cohort project has obtained the authorisation of the National Data Protection Authority (Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés-CNIL). CNIL verified that before inclusion, clear information is provided to the eligible participants (presentation of CONSTANCES, type of data to be collected, ability to refuse to participate, informed consent, etc). Concrete procedures for setting up the two cohorts (participants and non-participants) ensure the confidentiality of the data at every point in its circulation as well as the anonymity of the cohort of non-participants. In addition, CONSTANCES was approved by the National Council for Statistical Information (Conseil national de l'information statistique-CNIS), the National Medical Council (Conseil national de l'Ordre des médecins-CNOM), the Institutional Review Board of the National Institute for Medical Research-INSERM and our local Committee for Persons Protection (Comité de protection des personnes).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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