Cohort profile: rationale and design of the Resource Center for Health Science (RECHS) project - a study of health hazards and medical cost burden among the Japanese population

Tetsuji Morishita, Masao Takemura, Makoto Hayashi, Kuniaki Saito, Yasuko Yamamoto, Hisashi Tsurumi, Hidetoshi Matsunami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose The increased global burden of non-communicable diseases and mental disorders is an urgent health challenge for countries around the entire world, especially those experiencing super-ageing societies, where over 21% of the population is age 65 years or older. Japan is the world's most rapidly ageing society, and as a result, medical costs are also rising dramatically. With the aims of establishing a foundational framework for future research efforts, primarily focusing on the development of a personal health record (PHR) system, and creating a long-term repository for bioresources integrated with PHRs, this study investigated potential health risks and future healthcare burdens based on a longitudinal analysis of health records. Participants The Resource Center for Health Science (RECHS) project is a long-term, prospective biobank project, population and health check-up-based cohort that primarily investigates the associations between lifestyle and environmental factors and some surrogate markers of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Starting in 2010, we initiated an annual cohort study among voluntary participants recruited from health check-up programmes and collected data from the following sources: a self-administered baseline questionnaire that included items on dietary habits and stress, a Brief Self-Administered Diet History Questionnaire, the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and the General Health Questionnaire-28. Findings to date For this prospective cohort study, we planned to enrol approximately 10 000 participants. We collected and stored serum samples from all participants for future analyses. The study participants who still were able to participate in these health check-ups and their outcomes were then obtained from the measurements and questionnaire responses. Future plans Insights emerging from the RECHS study can provide researchers and public health policy administrators with evidence to aid in the prevention of non-communicable diseases and clarify the most malleable status to implement preventive measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere077720
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-02-2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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