Analysis of Twin Data in Health Research

Welcome to the analysis of twin data!

The Institute of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Biodemography presents the course Analysis of Twin Data in Health Research with the aim: This course gives an introduction to the modern analysis in studies of twins.

The students will be able to apply basic methods and biometric models using statistical packages, especially the package "mets" and OpenMx in R. The students learn how to investigate genetic and environmental influences on phenotypes under various twin designs and assumptions. They also learn how twins can be used effectively in studying association controlling for various confounders, the matched design.

Findings and insights from studies with twins will be highlighted. Time is devoted for short presentations by the participants including discussion and feedback.

  • Special topics this year: Epigenetic studies using twins; Time to events in twins and more in program below.
  • Contributed talks: This gives the opportunity to give a 15 min informal presentation of your project or ideas with feedback.


  • University of Helsinki, Finland: Jaakko Kaprio and Karri Silventoinen.
  • University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Nederlands: Charlotte Huppertz.
  • University of Southern Denmark: Axel Skytthe, Kaare Christensen, Lene Christiansen and Jacob Hjelmborg (course leader).
  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark: Klaus Holst and Thomas Scheike.

Place and time

Location: Faculty of Health Science, University of Southern Denmark, Winsløwparken. Link to Winsløwparken.

Time: 23.5.-26.5. 2016


Monday (time 9-16): 
Torben With, Klinikbygningen, Odense University Hospital, Sdr. Boulevard 29. 5000 Odense C .
Link to Klinikbygningen - Torben With

Tuesday (time 9-16):
Location 25.111, ground floor, J.B. Winsløvs Vej 25.
5000 Odense C.
Link to J.B. Winsløws Vej 25 - location 25.111

Wednesday (time 9-12):
Location: 25.104, ground floor, J.B. Winsløvs Vej 25. 5000 Odense C
Link to J.B. Winsløws Vej 25 - location 25.104 

Wednesday (time 12-16):
Lication: 17.109, ground floor, J.B. Winsløws Vej 25. 5000 Odense C
Link to J.B. Winsløws Vej 25 - location 17.109 

Thursday (time 9-16):
Location: 4.48, J.B. Winsløvs Vej 9B, 3rd floor.
5000 Odense C.
Link to J.B. Winsløws Vej 9 - location 4.48


Lectures: 9.15-16.30 (coffee breaks 10.30-10.45 and 14.30-14.45 and lunch 12.30-13.00)


Good luck with the course!

Note: Course material will appear from links below prior to course start.


Schedule Topic Persons Slides Material
23/5 Monday
9.30-12.00 From twin data to heritability Jacob Hjelmborg Day 1 Primer

Day 1 Univariate

13.00-15.00  Applied twin research: Aging and longevity Kaare Christensen    
15.15-16.30  The case-cotwin design Jacob Hjelmborg Day 2 CaseCoTwin Osaka fibigerSim
24/5 Tuesday
9.15-10.00 Molecular basis of epigenetics Jonas Mengel-From  
10.15-11.15 Epigenetics Jonas Mengel-From Twin Methodology
11.30-12.30 Epigenetics in Twin Studies Jonas Mengel-From   Causal Inference
13.00-16.30  Multiple outcomes in Twins Charlotte Huppertz Multiple outcomes in twins bmidata.dat
25/5 Wednesday
9.15-12.30 Analysis of categorical outcomes and occurence of events Jacob Hjelmborg, Thomas Scheike, Klaus Holst Analysis of Twin Data: Time to Event Models
13.00-15.00 Testing causality Charlotte Huppertz Testing Causality BivariateCholesky.R

15.30-16.30 Gene Environment Interaction Charlotte Huppertz  
26/5 Thursday
 9.15-10.00 How voluntary exercise behavior runs in families: Twin studies and beyond Charlotte Huppertz Gene-Environment
Interaction and Correlation
10.10-10.50 Osaka University Twin Registry and current project Chica Honda
(Osaka University)
11.00-11.15 Twin registries Axel Skytthe    
11.20-11.50  The Danish Twin Registry:
Genetic and epigenetic studies
Lene Christiansen
11.55-12.25  Randomized Controlled Trials involving twins: Challenges and lessons learned in low back pain Paulo Ferreira
(Univ of Sydney)
12.30-12.45 The Nordic Twin Cancer Study Jacob Hjelmborg
General discussion and final remarks All    

References and links

Software for analysis of twin data

Further information

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