cyprus women’s health research ınıtıatıve
Cyprus is the third largest Mediterranean island with 300,000 Turkish Cypriot and 700,000 Greek Cypriot residents. Due to its political context, Northern Cyprus (home to Turkish Cypriots) has been relatively isolated from the rest of Europe for > 40 years. Consequently, there is a complete absence of population-level health data from this emerging region in Europe, and it is excluded from all health- statistics reported for Cyprus . COHERE Initiative is an on-going population-based, cross-sectional study targeting 10% of all women aged 18-55 (N=8000) living in Northern Cyprus. We aim to establish a women’s health cohort to collect vital health and morbidity data, and investigate factors affecting women’s health and care seeking patterns in the region.
 Rahmioglu N, Naci H, Cylus J. Improving health care services in Northern Cyprus: a call for research and action. European Journal of Public Health. 2012 Dec; 22(6):754-755.
- Understand distribution and prevalence rates of gynaecological conditions and associated symptomatology, and auto- immune, inflammatory, metabolic and pain comorbidity profiles.
- Investigate effect of reproductive and lifestyle factors on women’s health.
- Map the geospatial distribution of identified conditions and investigate correlation with demographic and life-style factors.
- Investigate the genetic architecture of the population to understanding of disease-causing genetic risk factors in the region.
COHERE Initiative will provide the first systematically collected population health data for Northern Cyprus – an emerging region in Europe for which public health issues have been unexplored to date – and will aid the understanding of regional women’s health and illness patterns, and the personal, social/economic burden of symptomatology and disease. Disease rates, clinical profiles, and healthcare statistics of women in this population will be used to assess the relative burden of disease, and results will form the basis for targeted hypothesis- driven local follow-up studies. Moreover, the Cypriot adaption of the ‘Mediterranean lifestyle’ allows for investigation of the influence of both environmental as well as genetic factors specific to Eastern- Mediterranean populations.
The study is led by University of Oxford in an academic collaboration with Eastern Mediterranean University for recruitment of participants, clinical data collection with Bahceci Cyprus IVF Hospital, Jinomer and Gunes Women’s Health Clinic, and civil society organisation Cyprus Women’s Health Research Society (CoHERS).