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KiGGS – German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has been running the “German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents” (KiGGS) since 2003.

The first KiGGS study (KiGGS baseline study) ran from 2003 to 2006. The KiGGS baseline study is the first survey to collect comprehensive health data on children and adolescents that are representative for the country as a whole.

Since 2009, KiGGS has been continued at the Robert Koch Institute in the form of a long-term study which is part of countrywide health monitoring.

Features of KiGGS

The special value of the health data collected with KiGGS is the result of three central features which in this combination are unique in Germany: 

  • KiGGS repeatedly makes available data representative of the whole country. This data provides an accurate description of the current health situation of children and adolescents under the age of 18 as well as development trends over time.
  • With KiGGS, health data are collected by means of surveys, medical examinations, tests and laboratory analyses in order to enable more valid measurements and better frequency estimations for illnesses.
  • KiGGS also comprises a cohort, i.e. children and adults of the baseline study are repeatedly invited for follow-ups, into their adulthood. If they participate, the causes and conditions of health changes occurring in the course of their life can be analysed.

Health Monitoring at the Robert Koch Institute

The RKI is a federal institute within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Health. One of the mandates of the institute is to gain scientific insights which are the used as a basis for decisions in the health sector.

Sound health policy measures must be based on comprehensive and reliable knowledge of the health situation in Germany. In order to make such statements, current health data is required. Some health information comes from official statistics or from health insurance companies. There are many important themes, however, which can only be clarified by means of surveys, examinations and laboratory tests.

For this reason, the RKI carries out countrywide health studies under the name “health monitoring” on a regular basis. Together with the “German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults” (DEGS) and the “German Health Update”, KiGGS constitutes one of the three pillars of health monitoring.

Since individual studies can only ever provide a momentary glimpse of the current situation, health monitoring aims at “continuous” data surveys.

The studies of health monitoring are coordinated and mutually complement each other.

Information on the studies of health monitoring available on the RKI pages:

  • KiGGS – German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolsescents
  • DEGS – German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults
  • GEDA – German Health Update

Information for science and politics

In conjunction with other sources of information, the health monitoring data constitute a comprehensive data and information basis for the health sciences (public health) and health policy in Germany.

Information from health monitoring is regularly included in government health reporting (GBE) publications at the Robert Koch Institute.

Government health reporting at the RKI

Information system of the Federal Health Reporting