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Personlig profil


Genetic-epidemiology, twin studies, aging, age-related diseases, reproduction, fertility, congenital malformations, cleft lip and palate, and fetal programming


CURRICULUM VITAE for Kaare Christensen 

Date of birth      

June 20, 1959, in Denmark.


MD, Odense University, Denmark, 1987

PhD, Faculty of Health Sciences, Odense University, Denmark, 1995

DMSc, University of Southern Denmark, 1999


Professor of Epidemiology, University of Southern Denmark, 2002-

Senior Research Scientist (part time), Sanford Institute, Duke University, USA,1999-2019

Consultant (part time), Department of Clinical Genetics and Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Odense University Hospital, Denmark, 2010-

Professional affiliations  

Head of Research, the Unit of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Biodemography, University of Southern Denmark, 2013-

Director of the Danish Aging Research Center, 2008-

Director of the Danish Twin Registry, 2007-

Head of Research, Epidemiology Section, University of Southern Denmark, 1998-2013

Member of Det Frie Forskningsråd|Sundhed og Sygdom [The Danish Council for Independent Research|Medical Sciences], 2013-

Member of the Joint Committee of the Nordic Medical Research Councils, 2015-

Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Danish National Institute of Public Health, 2017-

Chairman of the University Council, University of Southern Denmark, 2018-

Member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, 2018-Member of the Wellcome Trust

Longitudinal Population Studies Committee, UK, 2018

Member of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Committee for Clinical and Translation Medical Science (KTL), 2019-22

 Honors and awards                      

  • Desireé and Niels Yde’s Award for Research, 1998 
  • William Nielsen’s Award for Research, 1999
  • Research award: Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 2004.
  • Univ. of Southern Denmark, first award for outreach and communicating research, 2005
  • Codan Merit Award, 2006
  • On behalf of the Danish Twin Registry recipient of the ethical merit award for outstanding ethical conduct of health research, 2006
  • The Erhoff Award for internationally acknowledged medical research, 2008
  • The Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorship, University of Iowa, 2010
  • The James Shields Memorial Award for Twin Research in Behavioural Genetics, 2010
  • Ridder af Dannebrogordenen [awarded the Order of Dannebrog by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark], 2011
  • Honorary award granted by “Overlæge Th.E. Hess Thaysen og hustru’s Fond” (Danish Foundation) for cutting-edge, clinical research into genetic predisposition to disease, 2015
  • Sohlberg Nordic Prize in gerontology, 2016
  • Fondation IPSEN Longevity prize, 2016

Invited lectures  Over 400 invited lectures in Europe, Asia and the USA    


Of 39 PhD theses (principal supervisor of 17) and assessor of 13 doctoral theses and 34 PhD theses

Advisory roles   

Served on a number of panels and study sections for the US National Academies and the US National Institutes of Health; Editorial Board Member: Aging Cell and Twin Research & Human Genetics; Review Editorial Board Member: Frontiers in Genetics of Aging.

Reviewer of grant applications

For Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, UK and US agencies

Peer reviewer    

For 71 journals including Science, Nature, Nature Reviews Genetics, PNAS, Lancet, BMJ, and New England Journal of Medicine 


616 scientific peer-reviewed publications 1996-2019 (of these 35 are first authorships and 180 are last authorships), 16 scientific peer-reviewed book chapters, 10 textbook chapters, three popular books.  

A total of 45 international, peer-reviewed publications in 2018

Number of articles in general and high-ranking journals 1996-2018

A total of 39 articles 1996-2019 of which 21 are first or last authorships: New England Journal of Medicine (3), Lancet (7), BMJ (10), Nature (1), Nature Genetics (4), Nature Reviews Genetics (1), JAMA (5), PNAS (3), Nature Communications (3),and Science (2).                          


Web of Science: H-index: 76; total citations (without self-citations): 22,364

Google Scholar: H-index: 102; total citations: 42,378

ORCID-ID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5429-5292; Publons-ID: C-2360-2009 

Selected references 

Pedersen JK, Rosholm JU, Ewertz M, Engholm G, Lindahl-Jacobsen R, Christensen K. Declining cancer incidence at the oldest ages: Hallmark of aging or lower diagnostic activity? Journal of Geriatric Oncology 2019;10(5):792-79.

Hjelmborg J, Larsen P, Kaprio J, McGue M, Scheike T, Hougaard P, Christensen K. Lifespans of Twins: Does Zygosity Matter? Genes (Basel). 2019;10 [Epub ahead of print].

Dokkedal U, Wod M, Thinggaard M, Hansen TG, Rasmussen LS, Mengel-From J,Christensen K. No impact of surgery on cognitive function: a longitudinal study of middle-aged Danish twins. Annals of Epidemiology 2018; 28(2):95-101.                             

Zarulli V, Jones JAB, Oksuzyan A, Lindahl-Jacobsen R, Christensen K, Vaupel JW. Women live longer than men even during severe famines and epidemics. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences 2018; 115(4):E832-E840.

Osler M, Christensen GT, Garde E, Mortensen EL, Christensen K. Cognitive ability in young adulthood and risk of dementia in a cohort of Danish men, brothers, and twins. Alzheimer’s & Dementia 2017; 13(12):1355-1363.

Zeng Y, Feng Q, Hesketh T, Christensen K, Vaupel JW. Survival, disabilities in activities of daily living, and physical and cognitive functioning among the oldest-old in China: a cohort study. Lancet 2017;389(10079):1619-1629.

Lindahl-Jacobsen R, Rau R, Jeune B, Canudas-Romo V, Lenart A, Christensen K, Vaupel JW. Rise, stagnation, and rise of Danish women's life expectancy. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences USA 2016; 113(15):4015-20.

Christiansen L, Lenart A, Tan Q, Vaupel JW, Aviv A, McGue M, Christensen K. DNA methylation age is associated with mortality in a longitudinal Danish twin study. Aging Cell 2016; ;15(1):149-54.

Thinggaard M, McGue M, Jeune B, Osler M, Vaupel JW, Christensen K. Survival prognosis in very old adults. JAGS 2016;64(1):81-8.

Mucci et al. Familial risk and heritability of cancer among twins in Nordic Countries. JAMA 2016;315(1):68-76.

Christensen K, Thinggaard M, Oksuzyan A, Steenstrup T, Andersen-Ranberg K, Jeune B, McGue M, Vaupel JW. Physical and cognitive functioning of people older than 90 years: a comparison of two Danish cohorts born 10 years apart. Lancet 2013;382(9903):1507-13.

Herskind AM, Almind Pedersen D, Christensen K. Increased prevalence of congenital heart defects in monozygotic and dizygotic twins. Circulation 2013; 128(11):1182-8.

Christensen K, Thinggaard M, McGue M, Rexbye H, Hjelmborg J, Aviv A, Gunn D, V d Ouderaa F, Vaupel JW. Perceived age as clinically useful biomarker of ageing: cohort study. BMJ2009; (339): b5262.

Christensen K, Doblhammer G, Rau R, Vaupel JW. Ageing populations: the challenges ahead. Lancet 2009;374:1196-1208 (review).

Christensen K, McGue M, Petersen I, Jeune B, Vaupel JW. Exceptional longevity does not result in excessive levels of disability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2008; 105(36):13274-9.

Christensen K, Murray JC. What genome-wide association studies can do for medicine. New England Journal of Medicine 2007;356(11):1094-1097.

Christensen K, Johnson TE, Vaupel JW. The quest for genetic determinants of human longevity: challenges and insights. Nature Reviews Genetics 2006;7:436-448.

Vaupel JW, Carey R, Christensen K. It’s never too late. Science 2003;301:1679-1681.


October 2019

Fingeraftryk Fingeraftryk er baseret på at anvende teksten fra personernes videnskabelige dokumenter til at skabe et indeks med vægtede emneordskoncepter, som definerer de vigtigste emner for hver enkelt forsker.

  • 92 Lignende profiler
Twin Studies Medicin og biovidenskab
Monozygotic Twins Medicin og biovidenskab
Population Medicin og biovidenskab
Denmark Medicin og biovidenskab
Telomere Medicin og biovidenskab
Cleft Palate Medicin og biovidenskab
Dizygotic Twins Medicin og biovidenskab
Health Medicin og biovidenskab

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Publikationer 1996 2019

A catalog of genetic loci associated with kidney function from analyses of a million individuals

Lifelines Cohort Study & V. A. Million Veteran Program, 1. jun. 2019, I : Nature Genetics. 51, 6, s. 957-972

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Glomerular Filtration Rate
Translational Medical Research
Genome-Wide Association Study
14 Downloads (Pure)

A Cohort Comparison of Lifespan After Age 100 in Denmark and Sweden: Are Only the Oldest Getting Older?

Medford, A., Christensen, K., Skytthe, A. & Vaupel, J. W., apr. 2019, I : Demography. 56, 2, s. 665-677

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Åben adgang
2 Downloads (Pure)

Advanced parental age at conception and sex affects mitochondrial DNA copy number in human and fruit flies

Mengel-From, J., Svane, A. M., Pertoldi, C., Kristensen, T. N., Loeschcke, V., Skytthe, A., Christensen, K., Lindahl-Jacobsen, R., Hjelmborg, J. & Christiansen, L., 15. mar. 2019, I : The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. 8 s.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Maternal Age
10 Downloads (Pure)

Age‐dependent DNA methylation patterns on the Y chromosome in elderly males

Lund, J. B., Li, S., Christensen, K., Mengel-From, J., Thinggaard, M. S., Marioni, R. E., Starr, J., Pattie, A., Deary, I. J., Baumbach, J. & Tan, Q., 2019, I : Aging Cell. 8 s.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Åben adgang
DNA Methylation
Sex Characteristics
14 Downloads (Pure)

A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identifies multiple longevity genes

Deelen, J., Evans, D. S., Arking, D. E., Tesi, N., Nygaard, M., Liu, X., Wojczynski, M. K., Biggs, M. L., van der Spek, A., Atzmon, G., Ware, E. B., Sarnowski, C., Smith, A. V., Seppälä, I., Cordell, H. J., Dose, J., Amin, N., Arnold, A. M., Ayers, K. L., Barzilai, N. & 64 flere, Becker, E. J., Beekman, M., Blanché, H., Christensen, K., Christiansen, L., Collerton, J. C., Cubaynes, S., Cummings, S. R., Davies, K., Debrabant, B., Deleuze, J. F., Duncan, R., Faul, J. D., Franceschi, C., Galan, P., Gudnason, V., Harris, T. B., Huisman, M., Hurme, M. A., Jagger, C., Jansen, I., Jylhä, M., Kähönen, M., Karasik, D., Kardia, S. L. R., Kingston, A., Kirkwood, T. B. L., Launer, L. J., Lehtimäki, T., Lieb, W., Lyytikäinen, L. P., Martin-Ruiz, C., Min, J., Nebel, A., Newman, A. B., Nie, C., Nohr, E. A., Orwoll, E. S., Perls, T. T., Province, M. A., Psaty, B. M., Raitakari, O. T., Reinders, M. J. T., Robine, J. M., Rotter, J. I., Sebastiani, P., Smith, J., Sørensen, T. I. A., Taylor, K. D., Uitterlinden, A. G., van der Flier, W., van der Lee, S. J., van Duijn, C. M., van Heemst, D., Vaupel, J. W., Weir, D., Ye, K., Zeng, Y., Zheng, W., Holstege, H., Kiel, D. P., Lunetta, K. L., Slagboom, P. E. & Murabito, J. M., 1. dec. 2019, I : Nature Communications. 10, 1, 14 s., 3669.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Åben adgang
Genome-Wide Association Study

Aktiviteter 1998 2019

IAGG-ER 2019 Gothenburg, Sweden

Kaare Christensen (Deltager), Jacob v. B. Hjelmborg (Deltager), Mette Wod (Deltager), Mette Sørensen (Deltager), Jacob Krabbe Pedersen (Deltager)
23. maj 201925. maj 2019

Aktivitet: Deltagelse i faglig begivenhedOrganisering af eller deltagelse i konference

Hvornår er man (for) gammel?

Kaare Christensen (Foredragsholder)
1. apr. 2019

Aktivitet: Foredrag og mundtlige bidragForedrag og præsentationer i privat eller offentlig virksomhed

Treatment and Wellbeing in an Ageing Society - Disciplinary intersections between Literature, Art and Health

Kaare Christensen (Deltager)
14. mar. 2019

Aktivitet: Deltagelse i faglig begivenhedOrganisering af eller deltagelse i konference

Fra støv til Stones - udviklingen i ældres helbred gennem 150 år

Kaare Christensen (Foredragsholder)
12. mar. 2019

Aktivitet: Foredrag og mundtlige bidragForedrag og præsentationer i privat eller offentlig virksomhed

Har vi nået grænsen for menneskets helbred og levealder?

Kaare Christensen (Foredragsholder)
21. feb. 2019

Aktivitet: Foredrag og mundtlige bidragForedrag og præsentationer i privat eller offentlig virksomhed