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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 


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], 2013-2019

Member of the Joint Committee of the Nordic Medical Research Councils, 2015-2019

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

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


646 scientific peer-reviewed publications 1996-2020 (of these 36 are first authorships and 186 are last authorships), 16 scientific peer-reviewed book chapters, 10 textbook chapters, three popular books.  

A total of 40 international, peer-reviewed publications in 2019

Number of articles in general and high-ranking journals 1996-2020

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: 80; total citations (without self-citations): 26,014

Google Scholar: H-index: 108; total citations: 49,934

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

Selected references 

Tan Q, Jacobsen R, Nygaard M, Soerensen M, Mengel-From J, Christiansen L, Christensen K. Cohort difference in the risk of selected candidate genes on all-cause mortality at advanced ages. American Journal of Epidemiology 2020;189(7):708-716.

Thinggaard M, Jeune B, Osler M, Vaupel JW, McGue M, Christensen K. Are advances in survival among the oldest old seen across the spectrum of health and functioning? Journals of the Gerontology, Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 2020 [Epub ahead of print].

Pedersen DA, Larsen LA, Nygaard M, Mengel-From J, McGue M, Dalgård C, Hvidberg L, Hjelmborg J, Skytthe A, Holm NV, Kyvik KO, Christensen K. The Danish Twin Registry: An updated overview. Twin Research and Human Genetics 2019; 22(6):499-507.

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.                             

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.

Pedersen JK, Elo IT, Schupf N, Perls TT, Stallard E, Yashin AI, Christensen K. The survival of spouses marrying into longevity-enriched families. Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 2017;72(1):109-114

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.

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. BMJ 2009; (339): b5262.

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

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.

Basso O, Olsen J, Christensen K. Recurrence risk of congenital anomalies--the impact of paternal, social, and environmental factors: a population-based study in Denmark. American Journal of Epidemiology 1999;150(6):598-604.

Christensen K, Schmidt MM, Vaeth M, Olsen J. Absence of an environmental effect on the recurrence of facial-cleft defects. New England Journal of Medicine 1995;333(3):161-164


August 2020

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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., feb. 2020, I : Aging Cell. 19, 2, 8 s., e12907.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Åben adgang
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    Åben adgang
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    Age-specific cancer rates: a bird's-eye view on progress

    Rizzi, S., Wensink, M., Ahrenfeldt, L. J., Christensen, K. & Lindahl-Jacobsen, R., aug. 2020, I : Annals of Epidemiology. 48, s. 51-54.e1

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

  • Apolipoprotein E ε4 and cognitive function after surgery in middle-aged and elderly Danish twins

    Dokkedal, U., Wod, M., Thinggaard, M., Hansen, T. G., Rasmussen, L. S., Christensen, K. & Mengel-From, J., nov. 2020, I : European Journal of Anaesthesiology. 37, 11, s. 984-991

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

  • Aktiviteter

    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


    • 1 Igangværende


    The Sohlberg Nordic Prize in Gerontology

    Christensen, Kaare (Modtager), 22. jun. 2016

    Pris: Priser, stipendier, udnævnelser

    Fondation IPSEN Longevity prize

    Christensen, Kaare (Modtager), 2016

    Pris: Priser, stipendier, udnævnelser

    Ridderkorset af Dannebrogordenen

    Christensen, Kaare (Modtager), 1. okt. 2010

    Pris: Priser, stipendier, udnævnelser

    The James Shields Memorial Award for Twin Research in Behavioural Genetics

    Christensen, Kaare (Modtager), 5. jun. 2010

    Pris: Priser, stipendier, udnævnelser