Denmark’s unique health database

The Copenhagen City Heart Study is a unique database containing data on health factors in the Danish population over a period of 40 years.

The Copenhagen City Heart Study is a prospective epidemiologic study of males and females, focussing on disease ethiology and prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which is the cause of more than 1/3 of deaths in the western world. The study was initiated in 1976 by Gorm Boje Jensen, Peter Schnohr, Anders Tybjærg Hansen, and Jørgen Nyboe.

A random population sample of more than 26.000 males and females 20 years or older have been invited to health surveys, which has been repeated altogether five times in the period between 1976-78 and 2011-15. Survivors from the previous cohorts supplemented by a new random sample of 1.000 men and women, aged 20 to 29 years, are invited for each new examination.

Main focus on heart diseases

The first cross sectional survey (1976-78) was focussed on the prevalence of coronary heart disease and stroke. In later surveys the focus has been extended with new important risk factors such as DNA polymorphisms, micro albuminuria, and psychosocial relations, biochemical and genetic analysis.

Data collection

In the first two surveys data were collected primarily by means of a questionnaire and a physical examination, and few biochemical analyses. In the third cross sectional survey the number of biochemical analysis were increased, and DNA was collected from all participants. In the fourth survey the blood cells for determination of DNA and messenger RNA were collected as well.

In the fifth survey, we have had focus on the functional studies of the heart and circulation as end-points for previously collected measures and analyses entities stored in the bio-bank. We have repeated echocardiography with the inclusion of new modalities such as “speckle tracking” and assessment of diastolic function. Repeat echocardiography in about 4.000 participants, is the largest repeated echocardiography study.

Contributions to research

The Copenhagen City Heart Study has during the years contributed to recommendations for the Danish population, health authorities, and health personnel in relation to prevention of cardiovascular disease. More than 930 publications including 76 Ph.D. dissertations and 21 doctoral thesis has been produced on the basis of the CCHS data. Around 300 medical researchers including 30 Ph.D. students are currently working with the CCHS database.



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