Section for Population-based Epidemiology

​Section for Population-based Epidemiology primarily studies data and biobank material collected in the continuing population studies, which has been performed in Glostrup since 1964. Research combines questionaire data with biomarkers and often implements registry data.

​Research focus:

  1. Diseases that are prevalent and undiagnosed or which cause is not understood
    The population surveys have traditionally been focused on the more prevalent lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, but in the section we also study asthma and allergies and potential explanations for the increased prevalence of these diseases. Likewise, we have studied gluten intolerance and worked on showing that the actual prevalence of this disease is far more common in the Danish population than the national disease registries would suggest. Recently, we have also studied the development and treatment of depression and differing factors with importance to cognitive function.

    The group is also working with functional disorders that often can be undiagnosed and are barely understood. The section did the world's largest cohort study of functional disorders, and the group are at work on data analyses and a repetition study that began in the spring of 2018.

  2. Monitoring disease and risk factors

    Data from the national health surveys are an excellent resource for studying the prevalence of diseases in the population and the extent of different risk factors. Especially, monitoring of risk factors it is necessary to have access to data of biomarker concentrations in blood or urine tests.
    In the section we have been particularily interested in micronutrients, such as: Iodine, Vitamin D and table salt. This involves both the monitoring of the consumption by the Danish population and its significance for development of different diseases. We have been active in the discussion regarding the national consumption of Vitamin D and the danger which low average consumption poses to national health and efforts in disease prevention.We are likewise deeply involved in the monitoring of the Danish iodine enrichment programme (DanThyr) and take part in international collaborations regarding iodine and its importance to the development of metabolism.

  3. Biomarkers and genetic markers:

    In Section for Population-based Epidemiology we are interested in new biomarkers that can have possible applications in evaluating disease risk or severity. We are therefore currently working with a new biomarker for Vitamin K and likewise have previously worked with biomarkers for diagnosis of celiac disease. We also have active partnerships where our national health data is used to provide better information regarding the specific biomarker levels used in clinics for diagnostic and monitoring purposes. Genetic markers are also a substantial parameter in a large part of the sections research. The genetic markers used are often for Mendelian randomisation, as a specialised tool using knowledge of different gene variations to analyse risk of disease development. We work with the genetic markers independently and in collaboration with our international collaborations, for example our ongoing work with UK Biobank.


Betina Heinsbæk Thuesen - Head of section

Anne-Mette Bergmann - Project secretary

Birgitte Hollegaard Hartsteen - Postdoc

Elisabeth Dahl Nielsen - Secretary

Else Marie Olsen - Postdoc

Frederikke Hørdam Gronemann - PhD student

Gunhild Tidemann Christensen - Postdoc

Henriette Lavin - Project nurse

Ida Foss Engelsted - Project nurse

Ida Kim Wium-Andersen -  PhD student

Katja Biering Leth-Møller - PhD student

Line Lund Kårhus - Postdoc

Line Tang Møllehave - PhD student

Lule Gitte Hemmingsen  - Project nurse

Maria Shaw Birch - student assistant

Marie Holm Eliasen - Postdoc

Marie Kim Wium-Andersen - Postdoc

Mathilde Sandfeld-Jessen - Project nurse

Merete Osler - Senior researcher

Pernille Hesselholt Geer - Project assistant

Tea Skaaby - Postdoc

Terese Høi Jørgensen - Postdoc

Thomas Meinertz Dantoft - Project head

Tina Rasmussen - Project nurse

Torben Jørgensen - Professor

Research partners:

Section for Population-based Epidemiology have a close partnership with universities both in Denmark and internationally, these include: University of Copenhagen, University of Aarhus, University of Aalborg, DTU, University of Griefswald, University of Bristol and University of Umeå. In extension, we have partnerships with multiple clinical departments in hospitals of the Capital Region, Copenhagen Primary Care Laboratory (CopLab) and a few medicinal companies like ALK-Abelló and Phadia ApS.

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