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, 1994

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, 2018-2020

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-

Member of the Scientific Monitoring Board of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), 2020-

Member of the Researchers Panel of “Sygeforsikringen Danmark Donationer”, 2021-2022

Member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Gerontology Research Center (GEREC), the University of Jyväskylä and Tampere University in Finland, 2022-2025

Member of Helsefondens Forskningsudvalg, 2022-

Long Life Family Study representative on the National Institutes of Health ELITE Steering Committee, 2022-

Member of Vidensråd for Forebyggelse [Danish knowledge council for prevention], 2023-

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
  • Recognized as an Expertscape World Expert in Longevity (placed in the top 0.1% of scholars writing about Longevity over the past 10 years by Expertscape), 2020
  • The 44th annual Dobzhansky Award for outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of behavior genetics, 2022

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


Of 45 PhD theses (principal supervisor of 22) and assessor of 16 doctoral theses and 36 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 (2005-2022) and Twin Research & Human Genetics (2005-present); Review Editorial Board Member: Frontiers in Genetics of Aging, a specialty of Frontiers in Genetics (2011-2022).

Reviewer of grant applications

For Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, UK and US agencies

Peer reviewer    

For 77 journals including Science, Nature, Nature Reviews Genetics, PNAS, Lancet, BMJ, and New England Journal of Medicine 


755 scientific peer-reviewed publications 1996-2024 (of these 37 are first authorships and 202 are last authorships), 19 scientific peer-reviewed book chapters, 10 textbook chapters, three popular books.

A total of 15 international, peer-reviewed publications in 2023

Number of articles in general and high-ranking journals 1996-2024

A total of 46 articles 1996-2024 of which 21 are first or last authorships: New England Journal of Medicine (3), Lancet (9), BMJ (10), Nature (5), Nature Genetics (5), Nature Reviews Genetics (1), JAMA (5), PNAS (3), Nature Communications (3), Science (2).


Web of Science: H-index: 97; total citations (without self-citations): 41,246

Google Scholar: H-index: 132; total citations: 79,019

ORCID-ID:; Publons-ID: C-2360-2009 

Selected references 

Jensen TM, Pedersen JK, Waldorff FB, Søndergaard J, Overgaard S, Christensen K. Trends in Incidence of Hip Fracture and Hip Replacement in Denmark, 1996 to 2018. JAMA Network Open 2024;7(5):e249186.

Galvin A, Pedersen JK, Wojczynski MK, Ukraintseva S, Arbeev K, Feitosa M, Province MA, Christensen K. The protective effect of familial longevity persists after age 100: Findings from the Danish national registers. Journals of the Gerontology, Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 2024;79(1):1-5.

Johansen LLE, Thinggaard M, Hallas J, Osler M, Christensen K. Postmenopausal hormone therapy and mortality before and after the Women's Health Initiative study. Scientific Reports 2023;13(1):539.

Keys MT, Thinggaard M, Larsen LA, Pedersen DA, Hallas J, Christensen K. Reassessing the evidence of a survival advantage in Type 2 diabetes treated with metformin compared with controls without diabetes: a retrospective cohort study. International Journal of Epidemiology 2022;51(6):1886-1898.

Kjaersgaard Andersen R, Clemmensen SB, Larsen LA, Hjelmborg JVB, Ødum N, Jemec GBE, Christensen K. Evidence of gene-gene interaction in Hidradenitis suppurativa - a nationwide register study of Danish twins. British Journal of Dermatology 2022;186(1):78-85.

Galvin A, Feitosa M, Arbeev K, Kuipers AL, Wojczynski M, Ukrainsteva S, Christensen K. Physical resilience after a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease among offspring of long-lived siblings. European Journal of Ageing 2021;19(3):437-445.

Mengel-From J, Lindahl-Jacobsen R, Nygaard M, Soerensen M, Ørstavik KH, Hertz JM, Andersen-Ranberg K, Tan Q, Christensen K. Skewness of X-chromosome inactivation increases with age and varies across birth cohorts in elderly Danish women. Science Reports 2021;11(1):4326.

Alvarez JA, Medford A, Strozza C, Thinggaard M, Christensen K. Stratification in health and survival after age 100; evidence from Danish centenarians. BMC Geriatritrics 2021;21(1):406.

Christensen K, Wojczynski MK, Pedersen JK, Larsen LA, Klojgaard S, Skytthe A, McGue M, Vaupel JW, Province MA. Mechanisms underlying familial aggregation of exceptional health and survival: a three-generation cohort study. Aging Cell 2020; 19(10):e13228

Pedersen JK, Jensen TM, Waldorff FB, Søndergaard J, Christensen K. Use of prescription medication in the last years of life: a population-based comparison of two oldest old Danish birth cohorts born 10 years apart. Age and Ageing 2020;49(6):1105-1109. 

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;75(12):2354-2360.

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.


June, 2024

Eksterne ansættelser

Overlæge, Odense Universitetshospital

2010 → …


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