Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP)
Leben und Gesundheit in Pommern

Health and Performance
Relevance for this Topic
Country Germany
More Topics


Contact information

Dietrich Alte
Institut für Community Medicine
Walther-Rathenau-Str. 48
17487 Greifswald
Phone: +49(0)3834-867713
Fax: +49(0)3834-866684
Email: Alte(at)

Timeliness, transparency

The scientific use file is available about 2 years after data collection.

Type of data


Type of Study

Longitude survey: long-term study of the same sample

Cohort study

Data gathering method

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)

Self-administered questionnaire

Physical examination, tests, blood and urine samples

Access to data

Data is available for scientific, non-profit use. However, data is primarily available for members and employees of the Community Medicine Network at the University of Greifswald and for their co-workers. Thus, obtaining the data is expensive.

Conditions of access

It is required to sign a data distribution contract prior to obtaining the data. Furthermore, the planned project using the data has to be described comprehensively and is evaluated by a board, which holds meetings every month.

Not possible to evaluate

anonymised microdata


Website, documentation, data and questionnaires are available in German and English.


Wave 1, SHIP-0: Data was collected from 1997-2001 and had a sample size of 4,308 individuals. Wave 2, SHIP-1: Data was collected from 2002-2006 and had a sample size of 3,300 individuals. Wave 3, SHIP-2: Data was collected from 2008-2012 and had a sample size of approximately 1,700 individuals. Wave 4, SHIP-Trend-0: Data was collected from 2008-2011 and had a sample size of approximately 3,200 individuals.


age, sex

Registry sample

Pomerania (northeast region in Germany)

baseline sample: 20-79 years

Representative of community dwelling persons between 20 and 79 years in Pomerania, a region northeast of Germany.

The survey aims at investigating the complexity of health, thus comprehensive health data is assessed including an oral health examination, a medical examination, a health-related interview, and a health- and risk factor-related questionnaire. The oral health examination includes the teeth, periodontium, oral mucosa, craniomandibular system, and prosthodontics. The medical examination includes blood pressure measurements, electrocardiography, echocardiography, carotid, thyroid and liver ultrasounds, neurological screening, blood and urine sampling. The computer-aided health-related interview includes cardiovascular symptoms, utilisation of medical services, health-related behaviours, and socioeconomic variables. The self-administered questionnaire comprises housing conditions, social network, work conditions, subjective well-being and individual consequences of German reunification. Health information for the population relevant to diseases under study is given particular attention (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, liver and biliary tract diseases, neurological diseases, thyroid diseases, dental diseases, lung diseases, addiction and risk behaviour).

• John, U., et al. Study of Health In Pomerania (SHIP): a health examination survey in an east German region: objectives and design. Sozial- und Präventivmedizin 46 (2001): 186-94. • Gläser, S., Friedrich, N., Ewert, R., Schäper, C., Krebs, A., Dörr, M., ... & Koch, B. Association of circulating IGF-I and IGFBP-3 concentrations and exercise capacity in healthy volunteers: results of the Study of Health in Pomerania. Growth Hormone & IGF Research, 20(6) (2010): 404-410. • Baumeister, S. E., Alte, D., & John, U. Medical services utilisation: which role does social support play?--Results from the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP)]. Gesundheitswesen (Bundesverband der Ärzte des Öffentlichen Gesundheitsdienstes (Germany)), 66(3) (2004): 175. • Völzke, H., Alte, D., Schmidt, C. O., Radke, D., Lorbeer, R., Friedrich, N., ... & Henke, J. Cohort profile: the study of health in Pomerania. International Journal of Epidemiology, 40(2) (2011): 294-307.


Majority of instruments are standardised questions, scales, test and measurements.

Data quality

Raw data is cleaned by project organisers and checked for inconsistencies.

The survey was first planned as a cross-sectional study, but follow-up of the first sample (SHIP-0) after 5 years (SHIP-1) and after 12 years (SHIP-2) was conducted. The Institute for Community Medicine has been in charge of the survey since the beginning. The majority of indicators are available throughout all samples; however, the modules have been altered.

Not possible to evaluate


The aim of SHIP is to examine the complex nature of health. Therefore extensive health data is available, which allows for an investigation of the prevalence and incidence of diseases and their risk factors. Data focuses on those diseases which are population relevant (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, liver and biliary tract diseases, neurological diseases, thyroid diseases, dental diseases, lung diseases, addiction and risk behaviour). The survey enables researchers to study predictors, risk factors and underlying mechanisms, as well as complex interaction between those factors and living situations. Besides extensive subjective and objective health data (Biomarkers inclusive), a variety of socio-demographic and psycho-social factors are assessed which extend the analysis potential of the SHIP data. The follow-up of participants allows for an investigation of the progress of subclinical findings. Furthermore, health trends in the region can be compared with the SHIP-0 and the SHIP-Trend-0 data. Power of the data to carry out longitudinal analysis may be limited due to sample size in the follow-up surveys (SHIP-1 & SHIP-2). The potential to investigate health in old age is limited as SHIP baseline samples (SHIP-0 & SHIP-Trend-0) cover an age range of 18 to 79 years.

  • The information about this dataset was compiled by the author:
  • Andreas Motel-Klingebiel
  • (see Partners)