The CoLaus study is a population-based cohort of 6734 middle-aged participants from Lausanne (Switzerland). This study collects detailed and standardized phenotypes to investigate biological, genetic and environmental determinants of cardiovascular disease and their association with mental disorders.

Initiated in 2003, the main aims of the CoLaus study were:

  • To better understand the epidemiology of cardiovascular risk factors and diseases in the Swiss population
  • To discover new genetic determinants of these conditions.

Starting in 2004, over 4000 CoLaus participants underwent an extensive psychiatric phenotypization (PsyCoLaus). This extensive phenotype allowed to better understand what underlies the known associations between cardiovascular diseases and mental health.

A detailed description of the participants’ selection, inclusion criteria and methods used can be found in the following manuscripts:

Firmann M, Mayor V, Marques Vidal P, Bochud M, Pécoud A, Hayoz D, Paccaud F, Preisig M, Song KS, Yuan X, et al. The CoLaus study: a population-based study to investigate the genetic determinants of cardiovascular risk factors and metabolic syndrome. BMC Cardiovascular Disorders. 2008; 8:6. PMID: 18366642; PMCID: PMC2311269; DOI: 10.1186/1471-2261-8-6.

Marques-Vidal P, Bochud M, Bastardot F, von Känel R, Aubry J-M, Gaspoz J-M, et al. Assessing the associations between mental disorders, cardiovascular risk factors, and cardiovascular disease : the CoLaus/PsyCoLaus study. Raisons de santé, Institut universitaire de médecine sociale et préventive, Lausanne. 2011;182:1-28.

What data have been collected?

Questionnaire data

The questionnaires collected information on: demographic and socio-economic data; lifestyle factors (tobacco, alcohol and caffeine consumption); medication; physical activity; sleep; mood and food intake.

Interview data

The interview focused on the personal and family history of cardiovascular disease and risk factors: perceived health, cardiovascular disease(s) the participants or family had presented; diagnosis and treatment of hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes.

Clinical data

Body weight, height and body mass index (BMI); blood pressure and heart rate; waist and hip circumference, fat and fat-free mass by electrical bioimpedance; grip strength; electrocardiogram; baldness and its age of onset.

Biological data

Fasting venous blood sample (50 ml: blood count), markers of diabetes and insulin resistance, lipid panel, liver function tests, renal function, pro-inflammatory cytokines, iron status, vitamin D, thyroid hormones.

Urine sample: microalbuminuria, creatinine, electrolytes, uromodulin.


Nuclear DNA extracted from blood for whole genome scan analyses.

Current phase

The third follow-up of the CoLaus study has been completed (2018 - 2021). The data are currently being analyzed.

A forth follow-up started in January 2022.

Study Team

Dr Julien Vaucher

Dr Julien Vaucher

Principal investigator

Prof. Peter Vollenweider

Prof. Peter Vollenweider


Prof. Gérard Waeber

Prof. Gérard Waeber


Prof. Pedro Marques-Vidal
Lisbeth Delgado
Medical assistant
Christelle Demierre
Medical assistant
Eva Pochon
Medical assistant