Register-based epidemiology

Scientific content: The main focus of the current course will be to give an overview of Nordic health research based on register data and introduce a wide range of epidemiologic methods relevant for this type of data. Important health registers, and other Nordic registers relevant for register research will be presented. In addition we will also emphasis highly relevant topics such as social inequality in health, family data, environmental epidemiology, biobanks and pharmacoepidemiology research based on registers. The course will give an overview of Nordic laws and regulations pertaining to register-based data, and teach how to work with such large datasets, containing millions of records. Data quality assessment and data management will be a focus, as well as research design and statistical analysis.

Learning outcome: After the course the students are expected to have an overview of the contents of major registers in Nordic countries, and also on how Nordic register data can be accessed and combined with other data sources. The students should also be able to contribute in planning and carrying out epidemiological studies based on register data. Additionally, they will gain competence to critically read, interpret, and give feedback on register-based research performed by others.

Course organization: With the current application we are establishing a combined Norwegian-Danish two-week course to be hosted by the University of Oslo along with the National Institute of Public Health /University of Southern Denmark in Copenhagen in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Travel and accommodation expenses for all Nordic participants will be covered. Each course will admit a total of 20 students. The teaching methods will be lectures, individual exercises and group work, with an emphasis on active learning. There will be a home assignment between the two course periods and a take-home exam after the course. This new course will aim to attract students at a PHD- or postdoc level from all Nordic countries, and to serve as a platform for future Nordic collaborative work.

Recommended background: Students are expected to have a background in statistics or epidemiology, and to be familiar with concepts like linear regression, logistic regression and Cox regression, causality, directed acyclic graphs, and basic research design.


Maria Nilsson

Maria Nilsson

Special Adviser