Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC)

To study pregnancy complications and diseases in offspring as a function of factors operating in early life, fetal growth, and its determinants. To study especially side effects of medications and infections, and a focus not only on diseases in the period from conception to early childhood, but also on all diseases with a possible origin in the fetal time period.

General Information

Danish National Birth Cohort
Study Start Year: 
Study End Year: 

General Design

Study design: 
Cohort study
General Information on Follow Up (profile and frequency): 

Permission to follow up the cohort for 20 years, and possible to extend this permission. It is easy to continue follow-up as long as is desired if permissions are given. 

Follow-up on questionnaire data 7 and 11 years after enrollment.

Date of last follow-up: 31/06/2014. 


Recruitment target: 
Families (including twin studies, sibships and family based birth cohorts)
Target number of participants: 
100 000
Target number of participants with biological samples: 
100 000
Supplementary information about target number of participants: 

The Danish National Birth Cohort study enrolled 100 000 mothers and 60 000 of their children. It collected the following biospecimens at baseline:

  • Blood: 100 000 participants (mothers)
  • Cord blood: 60 000 participants (their children)
  • Plasma: 160 000 participants (mothers and children)
  • DNA: 160 000 participants (mothers and children)
Supplementary information: 

ENROLMENT: pregnant women invited to join the study through their GPs, or midwife. 
EXPOSURE RECORDING: via computerized phone interviews, occuring four times: at gestational weeks 12 and 30 and when the child is six and 18 months old. At weeks 25-26 of gestation, all participants receive a food frequency questionnaire developed specially to address dietary habits among pregnant women in Denmark.



Access to external researchers or third parties provided or foreseen for
Data (questionnaire-derived, measured...): 
Biological samples: 

Marker Paper

Marker paper: 
Olsen J et al. The Danish National Birth Cohort--its background, structure and aim. Scand J Public Health 2001.
Pubmed ID: 

Supplementary Information

Endpoints (N incident cases - January 2015)

Diseases of interest: cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, metabolic disorders, and also asthma, allergy, infections. Most endpoints are registered in the Danish Health care registries which are accessible for researchers.

Head and Neck(C00-C14; C31, C32) = 69
Esophagus (C15) = 5
Stomach (C16) = 17
Colorectal (C18-21) = 165
Liver (C22) = 9
Gallbladder (C23-24) = 5
Pancreas (C25) = 18
Lung (C33-34) = 60
Breast (C50) = 1008
Cervix (C53) = 309
Corpus uteri (C54) = 40
Ovary (C56-57.0) = 121
Prostate (C61) = 1
Total cancers (C00-C97) excluding non-melanoma skin cancer = NA

Cardiovascular endpoints
Acute coronary events = 1268
Stroke = 571

Other endpoints
Type II diabetes (E11) = 602

A detailed list of endpoint incident cases can be downloaded from the Documents section.


Supplementary information on access to DNBC's biospecimens and data

Requests for data where individuals may be identified require permission from the Danish Data Protection Agency (Datatilsynet). Requests for biological material need also permission from the Committee on Biomedical Research Ethics (Videnskabsetisk komité).

Conditions under which access can be foreseen:

  • Return data to the individual biobank / study in order to increase the scientific value of samples
  • Return results to the individual biobank / study to enable feedback to participants (aggregate or individual)


Study Timeline

Each colour in the timeline graph below represents a separate Study Population, while each segment in the graph represents a separate Data Collection Event. Clicking on a segment gives more detailed information on a Data Collection Event.
  • DNBC population


DNBC population

A large cohort of pregnant Danish women with long-term follow-up of the offspring.

Selection criteria: 
Gravidity (pregnant women)
Women only
Ethnic origin:
Health status:
Sources of recruitment: 
General population:
Volunteer enrolment
Number of participants: 
100 000 participants
Number of participants with biological samples: 
100 000 participants
Data Collection Events:
Baseline (DNBC)

Enrollment in the Danish National...

1996 (January)2002 (October)
Follow-up (DNBC) at 7 and 11 year

A 7- and 11-year questionnaire follow-up on...

2005 (November)2010 (July)


Authorization from contributors to the BbmriLpc.IARC Catalogues: 
Mads Melbye authorised the contribution to BbmriLpc.IARC on Friday, August 8, 2014