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The Swedish Twin Registry: Establishment of a Biobank and Other Recent Developments

  • Patrik K. E. Magnusson (a1), Catarina Almqvist (a1) (a2), Iffat Rahman (a1), Andrea Ganna (a1), Alexander Viktorin (a1), Hasse Walum (a1), Linda Halldner (a1) (a3), Sebastian Lundström (a4) (a5) (a6), Fredrik Ullén (a7), Niklas Långström (a1) (a5), Henrik Larsson (a1), Anastasia Nyman (a1), Clara Hellner Gumpert (a8), Maria Råstam (a9), Henrik Anckarsäter (a4), Sven Cnattingius (a10), Magnus Johannesson (a11), Erik Ingelsson (a1), Lars Klareskog (a12), Ulf de Faire (a13), Nancy L. Pedersen (a1) and Paul Lichtenstein (a1)...


The Swedish Twin Registry (STR) today contains more than 194,000 twins and more than 75,000 pairs have zygosity determined by an intra-pair similarity algorithm, DNA, or by being of opposite sex. Of these, approximately 20,000, 25,000, and 30,000 pairs are monozygotic, same-sex dizygotic, and opposite-sex dizygotic pairs, respectively. Since its establishment in the late 1950s, the STR has been an important epidemiological resource for the study of genetic and environmental influences on a multitude of traits, behaviors, and diseases. Following large investments in the collection of biological specimens in the past 10 years we have now established a Swedish twin biobank with DNA from 45,000 twins and blood serum from 15,000 twins, which effectively has also transformed the registry into a powerful resource for molecular studies. We here describe the main projects within which the new collections of both biological samples as well as phenotypic measures have been collected. Coverage by year of birth, zygosity determination, ethnic heterogeneity, and influences of in vitro fertilization are also described.

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Corresponding author

address for correspondence: Patrik K. E. Magnusson, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Box 281, 17177 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail:


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