The Danish Twin Registry: An Updated Overview

Dorthe Almind Pedersen, Lisbeth Aagaard Larsen, Marianne Nygaard, Jonas Mengel-From, Matt McGue, Christine Dalgård, Lars Hvidberg, Jacob Hjelmborg, Axel Skytthe, Niels V. Holm, Kirsten Ohm Kyvik, Kaare Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Danish Twin Registry (DTR) was established in the 1950s, when twins born from 1870 to 1910 were ascertained, and has since been extended to include twins from birth cohorts until 2009. The DTR currently comprises of more than 175,000 twins from the 140 birth cohorts. This makes the DTR the oldest nationwide twin register and among the largest in the world. The combination of data from several surveys, including biological samples and repeated measurements on the same individuals, and data from Danish national registers provides a unique resource for a wide range of twin studies. This article provides an updated overview of the data in the DTR: First, we provide a summary of the establishment of the register, the different ascertainment methods and the twins included; then follows an overview of major surveys conducted in the DTR since 1994 and a description of the DTR biobank, including a description of the molecular data created so far; finally, a short description is given of the linkage to Danish national registers at Statistics Denmark and some recent examples of studies using the various data resources in the DTR are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-507
Number of pages9
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We want to thank the following for their considerable financial contribution to the foundation and the continued support of the Danish Twin Registry: the Danish Research Council, University of Southern Denmark, the Danish National Research Foundation, the Danish Cancer Society, the Danish Diabetic Association, the Danish Heart Foundation, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, United States National Institute of Aging (P01AG08761), United States National Cancer Institute, and the National Program for Research Infrastructure 2007 from the Danish Agency for Science Technology and Innovation.


  • Denmark
  • Twin register
  • biobank
  • molecular
  • register-based research
  • surveys

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

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