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Determinants of exceptional health and survival in Danish twins and longevity-enriched families

How long we live and what proportion of that is spent in good health has profound implications for individuals and societies. Despite the doubling of life expectancy at birth over the last 100 years, healthy life expectancy as defined by the World Health Organization has remained approximately constant since 1990 according to globally representative studies. 

Twin and family studies present unique opportunities for understanding the determinants of health phenotypes across the life course. The overarching aim of this thesis is to build on our understanding of the mechanisms underlying exceptional health and survival, by undertaking a series of research projects based on data from the Danish Twin Registry and multigenerational Long Life Family Study

These projects will include defining the genetic and environmental architecture of health span, assessing and characterizing developmental origins of exceptional health and survival, and assessing longevity-associated resilience to various negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Long Life Family Study grant from the National Institute of Aging
  • Faculty Scholarship 
  • Main Supervisor: Professor Kaare Christensen, University of Southern Denmark 
  • Co-supervisor: Pernille Stemann Larsen, University of Southern Denmark
Expected Period
  • November 2021 – October 2024
PhD Student

Matthew Thomas Keys


EBB - Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Biodemography Department of Public Health University of Southern Denmark

  • Campusvej 55
  • Odense M - DK-5230
  • Phone: +45 6550 3029

Last Updated 20.10.2023