Research projects

We conduct research projects on the prevalence of diseases and other health conditions at the population level. Using classical epidemiological study designs as well as twin and family studies, including material from several large surveys and collections of biological material.


Research Projects

Aging Research
Since the 1990s, aging research has been a subject of high priority at the University of Southern Denmark. Over the years, the focus has shifted as more people have grown older - and we are now building on the knowledge and results that have been achieved.

LLFS: Long Life - Family Study*

Longitudinal study of families from the U.S. and Denmark with multiple members who have reached an very old age. Siblings are enrolled together with their children, cousins and spouses. | 2008-2024 | Project description

Development and Sex-Disparity in Health Adjusted Life Expectancy in the European Population

PhD Project: The aim of the project is to estimate the development in health adjusted life expectancy in Europe using data collected from several European countries over 11 years (2004-2015). A special emphasis will be put on sex-disparity in aging due to the The Male-Female Health-Survival Paradox". | 2019-2023 | Project description

Why men die while women suffer

Today women enjoy a longer life than men in all countries of the world, but women tend to report poorer self-rated health, they have higher disability levels at all ages and perform more poorly on physical tests than men. In the search for clues to explain these sex differences in life expectancy we use data from the Danish health registries and our oldest-old cohorts. | Project description

SHARE : Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe*

Survey on health, ageing and retirement among 50+ year-old Europeans with questions on demographics, health og socio-economic conditions. The study involves participants from 27 countries and data is collected every two years. | 2004-2023 | Project description

Health, treatment and well-being in the last years of life

Danish Aging Research Center conducts research in human aging processes from cross-disciplinary angles. We combine aging research from both quantative and qualitative fields. | 2019-2024 | Danish Aging Research Center

IDL: International Database on Longevity

Danish Centenarian Studies

The Danish centenarian studies

100-year-olds are the fastest growing age group in the Western countries - but how do they manage in terms of health, functional ability and treatment? We have been following developments since 1995.

The Danish 1915 Birth Cohort Study*
|: Adding years to life - or life to years?

Health profile of 100-year-olds Danes including Cardiovascular assessment. | 2015-2016 | Project description

5-COOP: Birth Cohorts 1911-12*

Survey on centenarians born in Denmark 1911/12 - with similar studies of 100-year-olds in France, Sweden, Switzerland and Japan. | 2011-2012 |

The Danish 1910 Cohort*

Interview study with questions on: Family, education, work, living habits, health, illnesses and medication consumption, daily abilities (ADL), personality and mental well-being. | 2010 |

The Danish 1905 Cohort*

Longitudinal study of Danes born in 1905. The participants were enrolled in 1998 (when they were about 93 years of age) and follow-ups were conducted in 2000, 2003 og 2005. | 1998-2005 |

The 1895 Danish Birth Cohort*

All Danes born in 1905 were invited to participate in a home-based, two hour, multidimensional interview, including cognitive and physical performance tests and the collection of DNA. The participants were re-visited at 101½, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107 and 108 years of age. | 1995-2003 |

The Danish Centenarian Registry

The Danish Centenarian Register is intended to serve as a resource for demographic studies of the oldest Danes. The register mainly contains a historical part, which as far back as possible includes all Danes who have died at the age of 100 years or more since the 1835th. | Project description

Family Studies
Families with many members who have become very old, have proven to be a source of useful knowledge.

LLFS : Long Life - FamilyStudy*

Longitudinal study of families from the U.S. and Denmark with multiple members who have reached an very old age. Siblings are enrolled together with their children, cousins and spouses. | 2008-2024 | Project description

GeHA: Genetics of Healthy Aging*

EU-finansieret projektet med deltagelse fra følgende lande: Danmark, Finland, England, Tyskland, Holland, Belgien, Frankrig, Italien, Grækenland, Polen og Ukraine. I alt deltog der +90-årige fra 2.650 familier. | 2004-2008 | Project description

DOS: The Danish Oldest-old Siblings study*

Undersøgelser af danske tvillinger tyder på, at det kan være muligt at identificere specifikke genetiske faktorer ved at søskende. Ved at identificere søskendepar ved hjælp af danske kirkebøger, har vi identificeret omkring 4.500 familier, hvor to eller flere søskende er blevet over 88 år gamle. Biologiske materiale giver mulighed for at undersøge bl.a. arvelige forhold af betydning for menneskets helbred og livslængde. | 2004-2005 | Project description

Echa: European Challenge of Healthy Aging*

Familieundersøgelse med deltagelse af to generationer. Formålet var at undersøge funktionsevne og helbred hos 50-60 årige, hvis forældre var blevet meget gamle. Deltagerne fra den ældste generation var 95-105 år - mens gennemsnitsalderen for deres børn var 65 år. Projektet blev udført i samarbejde med deltagere fra Frankrig, Italien og Danmark. | 2002-2004 | Project description

Twin Research
The Danish Twin Registry is a unique data source for epidemiological research and many both national and international researchers use twin data in collaboration with the Register.

NorTwinCan: Nordic Twin Study of Cancer

NorTwinCan is the largest twin study in the world available for the research of heritability and familial risks of cancers such as prostata, breast, ovarian, and colon cancer. | 2002-2025 | Project description

Female sex hormones and cognition in middle-aged and elderly Danish twins

PhD Project: Women have higher lifetime risk of developing AD than men. Additionally, women with AD tend to have lower cognitive function compared to men with AD. These sex differences raise the question of female sex hormones’ influence on cognition and risk of dementia. The aim is to study the association between female sex hormones and cognition in mid- and late life in Danish twins. | 2017-2020 | Project description

Skin ageing: Genetic and environmental factors

The main objective is to investigate the degree of genetic and environmental influence on the visual aging of facial skin and appearance. This is examined through clinical photographs, lifestyle questionnaires and outer skin measurements in twins. The project involved 100 female twins aged 60 to 80 years. | 2004-2005 | Project description

DaTRIS : The Danish Twin Registry Infrastructure Study*

DaTRIS is an umbrella project consisting of a number of sub-projects for which biological material has been collected as well as health data from approx. 14,000 monozygotic and dizygotic Danish twins born during the years 1931-69. | 2008-2011 | Project description

MADT 98 : Middle Aged Danish Twins*

Survey on Danish twins born 1931-52, in which 4,314 twins participated. The study included interviews, physical measurements and tests as well as blood samples. In 2008/11 a 10-year follow-up was conducted. | 1998 and 2008-2011 | Project description

Geminakar I & II*
|: Insulin resistance, abdominal adipositas and cardiovascular risk factors

The first round of this project in 1998 included healthy Danish twins with no diagnosis of diabetes or cardiovascular disease. In the second round of GEMINAKAR the importance of sleep for the development of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes were investigated, alone and in interaction with the genes. | 1998 and 2008 | Project description

LSADT : Longitudinal Study of Aging Danish Twins*

Longitudinal study of about 5.000 Danish twins born before 1931. The purpose of the studies was to elucidate reasons for variation in longevity, health, diseases, loss of functional abilities and intellectual skills among the elderly and very oldest Danes. | 1995-2007 | Project description

Molecular Epidemiology
Biological material is a valuable source for new knowledge in molecular, genetic and epigenetic research.

IGEMS: Interplay of Genes and Environments

The IGEMS consortium is a collaboration involving fifteen longitudinal twin studies of adult development and aging. The aims are to understand why early life adversity, and social factors such as isolation and loneliness, are associated with diverse outcomes including mortality, physical functioning (health, functional ability), and psychological functioning (well-being, cognition), particularly in later life. | 2014-2020 | Project description

LLFS : Long Life - FamilyStudy

Longitudinal study of families from the U.S. and Denmark with multiple members who have reached an very old age. Siblings are enrolled together with their children, cousins and spouses. | 2008-2024 | Project description

Epigenetic signatures of early-life events

PhD project: The proposed project is the first large epigenomic study focusing on early life events and later life health. The project will be based on an existing collaboration network of Danish and Chinese scientists with expertise in studying complex diseases, genetic epidemiology, bioinformatics and public health. | 2016-2019 | Project description

Epigenetic biomarkers as predictors of late-life mortality in the elderly

PhD Project: Taking advantage of the genomic data, we aim at developing highly efficient models for predicting late-life mortality in the elderly by identifying prognostic epigenetic biomarkers using bioinformatics and statistics tools. | 2016-2020 | Project description

Pleiotropic genetic effects on cognitive performance

PhD Project: The aim is to introduce and perform the first multivariate GWAS on cognitive performances in old age twins, in search of genetic variants that are pleiotropic for different domains of cognition and domain-specific genetic variants. | 2018-2021 | Project description

Other Projects
We participate in a number of research projects in both biostatistic methodology and applied research - as well as how living conditions can affect health in the earliest part of life and in the causes of congenital malformations.

Biostatistical research projects

The biostatisticians from Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Biodemography are involved in a number of methodological and applied research projects within the field of health sciences.


Over the years we have received grants from both national and international sources which has given us the opportunity to conduct several major surveys. This material provides an excellent basis for further research in the future.

  • AgeCare: Academy of Geriatric Cancer Research
  • Independent Research Fund Denmark
  • EU: Interplay of Genes and Environments
  • Lundbeck Foundation
  • NCU: Nordic Cancer Union
  • NIH : Long Life Family Study
  • Novo Nordisk Foundation
  • VELUX Fonden : Danish Aging Research Center

*Surveys with data collection.

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