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The Finnish Twin Cohort Study: An Update

  • Jaakko Kaprio (a1) (a2) (a3)

In 2002 and 2006, review papers have described the Finnish Twin Cohort and studies conducted on these population-based, longitudinal data sets with extensive follow-up data. Three cohorts have been established: the older twin cohort in the 1970s, and the Finntwin12 and Finntwin16 studies initiated in the 1990s. The present review provides on update on the latest data collections conducted since the previous review. These cover the fourth waves of data collection in the older cohort (twins born before 1958) and Finntwin12 (twins born 1983–1987). The fifth wave of data collection in Finntwin16 (twins born 1975–1979) also included assessments of their spouses/partners. An analysis of mortality in the older cohort from 1975 to 2009 indicates that the mortality of adult twins (as individuals) does not differ from the population at large. Based on the cohorts, many sub-studies with more detailed phenotyping and collection of omics data have been conducted or are in progress. We also contribute to numerous national and international collaborations.

Corresponding author
address for correspondence: Jaakko Kaprio, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, PO Box 41 (Mannerheimintie 172), University of Helsinki, FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland. E-mail:
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Battié, M. C., Videman, T., Kaprio, J., Gibbons, L. E., Gill, K., Manninen, H., . . . Peltonen, L. (2009). The Twin Spine Study: Contributions to a changing view of disc degeneration. Spine Journal, 9, 4759.
Broms, U., Wedenoja, J., Largeau, M. R., Korhonen, T., Pitkäniemi, J., Keskitalo-Vuokko, K., . . . Loukola, A. (2012). Analysis of detailed phenotype profiles reveals CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 gene cluster association with several nicotine dependence traits. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 14, 720733.
Harkonmäki, K., Silventoinen, K., Levälahti, E., Pitkäniemi, J., Huunan-Seppälä, A., Klaukka, T., . . . Kaprio, J. (2008). The genetic liability to disability retirement: A 30-year follow-up study of 24,000 Finnish twins. PLoS One, 3, e3402.
Kaprio, J. (2006). Twin studies in Finland 2006. Twin Research & Human Genetics, 9, 772777.
Kaprio, J., & Koskenvuo, M. (2002). Genetic and environmental factors in complex diseases: The older Finnish Twin Cohort. Twin Research, 5, 358365.
Kaprio, J., Pulkkinen, L., & Rose, R. J. (2002). Genetic and environmental factors in health-related behaviors: Studies on Finnish twins and twin families. Twin Research, 5, 6671.
Kettunen, J., Tukiainen, T., Sarin, A.-P., Ortega-Alonso, A., Tikkanen, E., Lyytikäinen, L. P., . . . Ripatti, S. (2012). Genome-wide association study identifies multiple loci influencing human serum metabolite levels. Nature Genetics, 44, 269276.
Koskinen, S. M., Ahveninen, J., Kujala, T., Kaprio, J., O'Donnell, B. F., Osipova, D., . . . Rose, R. J. (2011). A longitudinal twin study of effects of adolescent alcohol abuse on the neurophysiology of attention and orienting. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 35, 13391350.
Latvala, A., Tuulio-Henriksson, A., Dick, D. M., Vuoksimaa, E., Viken, R. J., Suvisaari, J., . . . Rose, R. J. (2011). Genetic origins of the association between verbal ability and alcohol dependence symptoms in young adulthood. Psychological Medicine, 41, 641651.
Naukkarinen, J., Rissanen, A., Kaprio, J., & Pietiläinen, K. H. (2012). Causes and consequences of obesity: The contribution of recent twin studies. International Journal of Obesity (London), 36, 10171024.
Ropponen, A., Svedberg, P., Huunan-Seppälä, A., Koskenvuo, K., Koskenvuo, M., Alexanderson, K., . . . Kaprio, J. (2012). Personality traits and life dissatisfaction as risk factors for disability pension due to low back diagnoses: A 30-year longitudinal cohort study of Finnish twins. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 73, 289294.
van Dongen, J., Slagboom, P. E., Draisma, H. H., Martin, N. G., & Boomsma, D. I. (2012). The continuing value of twin studies in the omics era. Nature Reviews Genetics, 13, 640653.
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Twin Research and Human Genetics
  • ISSN: 1832-4274
  • EISSN: 1839-2628
  • URL: /core/journals/twin-research-and-human-genetics
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