Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The Norwegian Twin Registry from a Public Health Perspective: A Research Update

  • Thomas S. Nilsen (a1), Gun Peggy Knudsen (a2), Kristina Gervin (a3), Ingunn Brandt (a1), Espen Røysamb (a2) (a4), Kristian Tambs (a2), Ragnhild Ørstavik (a2), Robert Lyle (a3), Ted Reichborn-Kjennerud (a2), Per Magnus (a1) and Jennifer R. Harris (a1)...
Abstract

We describe the importance of the Norwegian Twin Registry (NTR) for research in public health and provide examples from several programs of twin research at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), including the Nordic Twin Study of Cancer, our epigenetics platform, and our large program of research in mental health. The NTR has become an integral component of a national strategy for maximizing the research potential from Norwegian registries and biobank-based studies. The information provided herein builds upon and complements our recent report describing the establishment of the NTR and the cohorts comprising it. Although Norway has a long tradition in twin research, the centralization and administration of the twin data through a single register structure is fairly recent. The NTR was established in 2009 and currently includes 47,989 twins covering birth years 1895–1960 and 1967–1979; 31,440 of these twins have consented to participate in medical research (comprising 5,439 monozygotic pairs, 6,702 dizygotic same-sexed pairs, and 1,655 dizygotic opposite-sexed pairs). DNA from approximately 4,800 twins is banked at the NIPH biobank and new studies continuously add new data to the registry. The value of NTR data is greatly enhanced through record linkage possibilities offered by Norway's many nation-wide registries (medical, demographic, and socio-economic) and several studies are already taking advantage of these linkage opportunities for research.

Copyright
Corresponding author
address for correspondence: Dr. Jennifer R. Harris, Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, PO Box 4404 Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway. E-mail: jennifer.harris@fhi.no
References
Hide All
Andrew, T., Hart, D. J., Snieder, H., de, L. M., Spector, T. D., & MacGregor, A. J. (2001). Are twins and singletons comparable? A study of disease-related and lifestyle characteristics in adult women. Twin Research, 4, 464477.
Baker, L. A., Treloar, S. A., Reynolds, C. A., Heath, A. C., & Martin, N. G. (1996). Genetics of educational attainment in Australian twins: Sex differences and secular changes. Behavior Genetics, 26, 89102.
Bemmels, H. R., Burt, S. A., Legrand, L. N., Iacono, W. G., & McGue, M. (2008). The heritability of life events: An adolescent twin and adoption study. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 11, 257265.
Benson, N. R., Papenfuss, J., Wong, R., Motaal, A., Tran, V., Panko, J., & Kreuger, G. G. (2006). An analysis of select pathogenic messages in lesional and non-lesional psoriatic skin using non-invasive tape harvesting. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 126, 22342241.
Bergem, A. L. (2002). Norwegian Twin Registers and Norwegian twin studies — An overview. Twin Research, 5, 407414.
Christensen, K., Petersen, I., Skytthe, A., Herskind, A. M., McGue, M., & Bingley, P. (2006). Comparison of academic performance of twins and singletons in adolescence: Follow-up study. BMJ, 333, 10951097.
Christensen, K., Vaupel, J. W., Holm, N. V., & Yashin, A. I. (1995). Mortality among twins after age 6: Fetal origins hypothesis versus twin method. BMJ, 310, 432436.
Christensen, K., Wienke, A., Skytthe, A., Holm, N. V., Vaupel, J. W., & Yashin, A. I. (2001). Cardiovascular mortality in twins and the fetal origins hypothesis. Twin Research, 4, 344349.
Czajkowski, N., Kendler, K. S., Tambs, K., Roysamb, E., & Reichborn-Kjennerud, T. (2011). The structure of genetic and environmental risk factors for phobias in women. Psychological Medicine, 41, 19871995.
DeYoung, C. G. (2006). Higher-order factors of the Big Five in a multi-informant sample. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 11381151.
Engvik, H., & Føllesdal, H. (2005). The Big Five Inventory på norsk. Tidsskrift for Norsk psykologforening, 42, 128129.
Gervin, K., Hammero, M., Akselsen, H. E., Moe, R., Nygard, H., Brandt, I., . . . Lyle, R. (2011). Extensive variation and low heritability of DNA methylation identified in a twin study. Genome Research, 21 (11), 18131821.
Gervin, K., Vigeland, M. D., Mattingsdal, M., Hammero, M., Nygard, H., Olsen, A. O., . . . Lyle, R. (2012). DNA methylation and gene expression changes in monozygotic twins discordant for psoriasis: Identification of epigenetically dysregulated genes. PLoS Genetics, 8, e1002454.
Gjerde, L. C., Czajkowski, N., Roysamb, E., Orstavik, R. E., Knudsen, G. P., Ostby, K., . . . Reichborn-Kjennerud, T. (2012). The heritability of avoidant and dependent personality disorder assessed by personal interview and questionnaire. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 126, 448457.
Grjibovski, A. M., Harris, J. R., & Magnus, P. (2005). Birthweight and adult health in a population-based sample of Norwegian twins. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 8, 148155.
Gunderson, J. G., Stout, R. L., McGlashan, T. H., Shea, M. T., Morey, L. C., Grilo, C. M., . . . Skodol, A. E. (2011). Ten-year course of borderline personality disorder: Psychopathology and function from the Collaborative Longitudinal Personality Disorders study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68, 827837.
Harkonmaki, K., Silventoinen, K., Levalahti, E., Pitkaniemi, J., Huunan-Seppala, 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.
Harris, J. R., Magnus, P., Samuelsen, S. O., & Tambs, K. (1997a). No evidence for effects of family environment on asthma. A retrospective study of Norwegian twins. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 156 (1), 4349.
Harris, J. R., Magnus, P., & Tambs, K. (1997b). Does normal variation in birthweight confer susceptibility to health problems? A co-twin control study. The Norwegian Journal of Epidemiology, 7, 4147.
Harris, J. R., Magnus, P., & Tambs, K. (2002). The Norwegian Institute of Public Health Twin Panel: A description of the sample and program of research. Twin Research, 5, 415423.
Harris, J. R., Magnus, P., & Tambs, K. (2006). The Norwegian Institute of Public Health twin program of research: An update. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 9, 858864.
Harris, J. R., Tambs, K., & Magnus, P. (1995). Sex-specific effects for body mass index in the new Norwegian twin panel. Genetic Epidemiology, 12, 251265.
Iversen, T., Tretli, S., & Kringlen, E. (2001). An epidemiological study of cancer in adult twins born in Norway 1905–1945. British Journal of Cancer, 84, 14631465.
John, O., & Srivastava, S. (1999). The Big-Five Trait Taxinomy: history, measurement, and theoretical perspectives. In Pervin, L. & John, O. (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (2nd ed., pp. 102139). New York: Guilford Press.
Kendler, K. S., Aggen, S. H., Czajkowski, N., Roysamb, E., Tambs, K., Torgersen, S., . . . Reichborn-Kjennerud, T. (2008). The structure of genetic and environmental risk factors for DSM-IV personality disorders: A multivariate twin study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 65, 14381446.
Kendler, K. S., Aggen, S. H., Knudsen, G. P., Roysamb, E., Neale, M. C., & Reichborn-Kjennerud, T. (2011). The structure of genetic and environmental risk factors for syndromal and subsyndromal common DSM-IV axis I and all axis II disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168, 2939.
Kendler, K. S., & Baker, J. H. (2007). Genetic influences on measures of the environment: A systematic review. Psychological Medicine, 37, 615626.
Kendler, K. S., Czajkowski, N., Tambs, K., Torgersen, S., Aggen, S. H., Neale, M. C. & Reichborn-Kjennerud, T. (2006). Dimensional representations of DSM-IV cluster A personality disorders in a population-based sample of Norwegian twins: A multivariate study. Psychological Medicine, 36, 15831591.
Kendler, K. S., Myers, J., Torgersen, S., Neale, M. C., & Reichborn-Kjennerud, T. (2007). The heritability of cluster A personality disorders assessed by both personal interview and questionnaire. Psychological Medicine, 37, 655665.
Kendler, K. S., & Prescott, C. A. (2006). Genes, environment and psychopathology: Understanding the causes of psychiatric and substance use disorders. New York: Guilford Press.
Kjeldsen, M. J., Corey, L. A., Solaas, M. H., Friis, M. L., Harris, J. R., Kyvik, K. O., . . . Pellock, J. M. (2005). Genetic factors in seizures: A population-based study of 47,626 US, Norwegian and Danish twin pairs. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 8, 138147.
Magnus, P., Irgens, L. M., Haug, K., Nystad, W., Skjaerven, R., & Stoltenberg, C. (2006). Cohort profile: The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). International Journal of Epidemiology, 35, 11461150.
Mazzeo, S. E., Mitchell, K. S., Bulik, C. M., Reichborn-Kjennerud, T., Kendler, K. S., & Neale, M. C. (2009). Assessing the heritability of anorexia nervosa symptoms using a marginal maximal likelihood approach. Psychological Medicine, 39, 463473.
Narusyte, J., Ropponen, A., Silventoinen, K., Alexanderson, K., Kaprio, J., Samuelsson, A., & Svedberg, P. (2011). Genetic liability to disability pension in women and men: A prospective population-based twin study. PLoS One, 6, e23143.
Nes, R. B., Czajkowski, N., Roysamb, E., & Reichborn-Kjennerud, T. (2008). Well-being and ill-being: Shared environments, shared genes? The Journal of Positive Psychology, 3, 253265.
Nes, R. B., Czajkowski, N., & Tambs, K. (2010a). Family matters: Happiness in nuclear families and twins. Behavior Genetics, 40, 577590.
Nes, R. B., Roysamb, E., Harris, J. R., Czajkowski, N., & Tambs, K. (2010b). Mates and marriage matter: Genetic and environmental influences on subjective wellbeing across marital status. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 13, 312321.
Nes, R. B., Roysamb, E., Reichborn-Kjennerud, T., Tambs, K., & Harris, J. R. (2005). Subjective wellbeing and sleep problems: A bivariate twin study. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 8 (5), 440449.
Nes, R. B., Roysamb, E., Tambs, K., Harris, J. R., & Reichborn-Kjennerud, T. (2006). Subjective well-being: Genetic and environmental contributions to stability and change. Psychological Medicine, 36, 10331042.
Nilsen, T. S., Brandt, I., Magnus, P., & Harris, J. R. (2013). The Norwegian Twin Registry. Twin Research and Human Genetics. 2012 Sep 5:1-6, [Epub ahead of print]
Olesen, J., Gustavsson, A., Svensson, M., Wittchen, H. U., & Jonsson, B. (2012). The economic cost of brain disorders in Europe. European Journal of Neurology, 19, 155162.
Olesen, J., & Leonardi, M. (2003). The burden of brain diseases in Europe. European Journal of Neurology, 10, 471477.
Olsen, A. O., Grjibovski, A., Magnus, P., Tambs, K., & Harris, J. R. (2005). Psoriasis in Norway as observed in a population-based Norwegian twin panel. British Journal of Dermatology, 153, 346351.
Orstavik, R. E., Kendler, K. S., Czajkowski, N., Tambs, K., & Reichborn-Kjennerud, T. (2007). The relationship between depressive personality disorder and major depressive disorder: A population-based twin study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 18661872.
Pfohl, B., Blum, N., & Zimmerman, M. (1997). Structured Interview for DSM-IV Personality: SIDP-IV. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.
Pharoah, P. O. (2002). Neurological outcome in twins. Seminars in Neonatology, 7, 223230.
Phillips, D. I., Davies, M. J., & Robinson, J. S. (2001). Fetal growth and the fetal origins hypothesis in twins — Problems and perspectives. Twin Research, 4, 327–31.
Reichborn-Kjennerud, T., Bulik, C. M., Kendler, K. S., Roysamb, E., Maes, H., Tambs, K., & Harris, J. R. (2003). Gender differences in binge-eating: A population-based twin study. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 108, 196202.
Reichborn-Kjennerud, T., Czajkowski, N., Neale, M. C., Orstavik, R. E., Torgersen, S., Tambs, K., . . . Kendler, K. S. (2007a). Genetic and environmental influences on dimensional representations of DSM-IV cluster C personality disorders: A population-based multivariate twin study. Psychological Medicine, 37, 645653.
Reichborn-Kjennerud, T., Czajkowski, N., Roysamb, E., Orstavik, R. E., Neale, M. C., Torgersen, S., & Kendler, K. S. (2010). Major depression and dimensional representations of DSM-IV personality disorders: A population-based twin study. Psychological Medicine, 40 (9), 14751484.
Reichborn-Kjennerud, T., Czajkowski, N., Torgersen, S., Neale, M. C., Orstavik, R. E., Tambs, K., & Kendler, K. S. (2007b). The relationship between avoidant personality disorder and social phobia: A population-based twin study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164, 17221728.
Roysamb, E., Harris, J. R., Magnus, P., Vitterso, J., & Tambs, K. (2002). Subjective well-being. Sex-specific effects of genetic and environmental factors. Personality and Individual Differences, 32, 211223.
Roysamb, E., Kendler, K. S., Tambs, K., Orstavik, R. E., Neale, M. C., Aggen, S. H., . . . Reichborn-Kjennerud, T. (2011). The joint structure of DSM-IV Axis I and Axis II disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120, 198209.
Roysamb, E., Tambs, K., Reichborn-Kjennerud, T., Neale, M. C., & Harris, J. R. (2003). Happiness and health: Environmental and genetic contributions to the relationship between subjective well-being, perceived health, and somatic illness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 11361146.
Skodol, A. E., Gunderson, J. G., McGlashan, T. H., Dyck, I. R., Stout, R. L., Bender, D. S., . . . Oldham, J. M. (2002). Functional impairment in patients with schizotypal, borderline, avoidant, or obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 276283.
Skodol, A. W., Johnson, J. G., Cohen, P., Sneed, J. R., & Crawford, T. N. (2007). Personality disorder and impaired functioning from adolescence to adulthood. British Journal of Psychiatry, 190, 415420.
Soeteman, D. I., Hakkaart-van, R. L., Verheul, R., & Busschbach, J. J. (2008). The economic burden of personality disorders in mental health care. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 69, 259265.
Tambs, K., Czajkowsky, N., Roysamb, E., Neale, M. C., Reichborn-Kjennerud, T., Aggen, S. H., . . . Kendler, K. S. (2009a). Structure of genetic and environmental risk factors for dimensional representations of DSM-IV anxiety disorders. British Journal of Psychiatry, 195, 301307.
Tambs, K., & Moum, T. (1993). How well can a few questionnaire items indicate anxiety and depression? Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 87, 364367.
Tambs, K., Ronning, T., Prescott, C. A., Kendler, K. S., Reichborn-Kjennerud, T., Torgersen, S., & Harris, J. R. (2009b). The Norwegian Institute of Public Health twin study of mental health: Examining recruitment and attrition bias. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 12, 158168.
Tambs, K., Sundet, J. M., Magnus, P., & Berg, K. (1989). No recruitment bias for questionnaire data related to IQ in classical twin studies. Personality and Individual Differences, 10, 269271.
Torgersen, S., Czajkowski, N., Jacobson, K., Reichborn-Kjennerud, T., Roysamb, E., Neale, M. C., & Kendler, K. S. (2008). Dimensional representations of DSM-IV cluster B personality disorders in a population-based sample of Norwegian twins: A multivariate study. Psychological Medicine, 38, 16171625.
WHO. (2004). World Health Report 2004. Geneva: Author.
WHO. (2009). World Health Report 2009. Geneva: Author.
Wittchen, H. U., & Pfister, H. (1997). DIA-X Interviews (M-CIDI). Frankfurt: Swets & Zeitlinger.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Twin Research and Human Genetics
  • ISSN: 1832-4274
  • EISSN: 1839-2628
  • URL: /core/journals/twin-research-and-human-genetics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 7
Total number of PDF views: 65 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 263 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th June 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.