Epidemiology of Health (EpiHealth)

The primary objective of the EpiHealth cohort study is to provide a resource to study interactions between genotypes and lifestyle factors in a large cohort (the aim is 300,000 individuals) derived from the Swedish population in the age range 45-75 years regarding development of common degenerative disorders. It is an open-access resource, so that any scientist, not only those building the cohort, could use the data for research.

General Information

Epidemiology of Health
Study Start Year: 

General Design

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

A follow-up of the cohort, for example each 5th year, following the baseline investigation regarding information that could be obtained by the web-based questionnaire is planned. If economically feasible, a follow-up test center visit, for example each 10th year, is planned.

Follow-up in registries that are updated annually.

Recruitment target: 
Target number of participants: 
300 000
Target number of participants with biological samples: 
300 000
Supplementary information about target number of participants: 

Actual number of participants already recruited as per February 2015: 19,000

The EpiHealth study collected the following biospecimens at baseline for all participants: 

  • Blood
  • Plasma
  • Serum
  • DNA
Supplementary information: 

EpiHealth is a population-based, multicenter longitudinal cohort study in subjects aged 45-75 years in which exposures (life-style factors and genes) are collected at a baseline investigation. The study consists of three parts:

  1. A collection of data on life-style factors by self-assessment through an internet-based questionnaire.
  2. A visit to a test-centre where blood is collected and some physiological parameters are recorded.
  3. The population is followed for occurrence of future endpoints defined from the eleven prioritized research areas.

The eleven prioritized research areas are the following:

  1. Cause-specific and overall mortality - Death
  2. Cardiovascular disease – Myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, aortic aneurysm, hypertension
  3. Pulmonary disease – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep-apnea syndrome
  4. Osteoporosis – Bone fractures
  5. Cancer – Different incident cancers
  6. Diabetes/obesity – Diabetes, BMI, metabolic syndrome
  7. Cognitive function – Dementia, cognitive function tests
  8. Psychiatry – Depression, anxiety
  9. Pain – Self-assessed pain, osteoarthritis, joint replacement
  10. Functional capacity - Self-assessed by questionnaire
  11. Quality of Life – Self-assessed by questionnaire


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

Marker Paper

Marker paper: 
Lind L, Elmståhl S, Bergman E, Englund M, Lindberg E, Michaelsson K, Nilsson PM, Sundström J. EpiHealth: a large population-based cohort study for investigation of gene-lifestyle interactions in the pathogenesis of common diseases. Eur J Epidemiol. 2013 F
Pubmed ID: 

Supplementary Information

Potential participants in the age group 45-75 years will receive information about EpiHealth and an invitation to participate in the study by postal mail. The postal invitation will consist of:

  1. Letter of invitation with activation codes and instruction on how to enroll in EpiHealth on the website www.epihealth.se or via the EpiHealth Screening Center.
  2. Brochure about EpiHealth including general information about EpiHealth, the two parts of the study (questionnaire and test center visit) and also information about informed consent.
  3. The Informed Consent form.

A person who wants to participate in EpiHealth will be instructed to visit www.epihealth.se and log on using the activation code supplied in the invitation letter. The website contains general information about EpiHealth and detailed information about consent and how to partially or completely withdraw consent, and this information will be publicly accessible. In addition, the questionnaire is accessible on the website before enrollment. Participants can also, if preferable, contact an EpiHealth Screening Center for help with enrollment. Initial consent is sought on the website following activation. Formal written consent is thereafter sought from the participants during the first visit to the test center.



Endpoint data not available [Feb 2015]



Authorization from contributors to the BbmriLpc.IARC Catalogues: 
Johan Sundström authorised the contribution to BbmriLpc.IARC on Friday, September 5, 2014



Exposure data collected at baseline in the...