EPIC Centres

DENMARK

  Background | Follow-up | Scientists | Funding  | Activities 

Danish Cancer Society Research Centre
Copenhagen, Denmark
http://www.cancer.dk/om+os/The+Danish+Cancer+Society.htm

Section for Epidemiology, Department of Public Health
Aarhus University, Denmark
http://ph.au.dk/en

Background

Diet, Cancer and Health is a Danish prospective cohort study aimed at investigating the associations between dietary habits, lifestyle, and cancer development. The participants were recruited during 1993—1997. A total of about 160 725 individuals were invited by mail, and 57 053 were enrolled into the study cohort. Potential participants were men and women born in Denmark, living in the greater Copenhagen or Aarhus areas, aged 50—64 years, and with no previous cancer diagnosis. At enrolment, information on usual diet and on lifestyle was obtained using self-administered questionnaires. Further, body composition was described in detail and biological samples, including blood and urine, were collected and stored at —150 °C. This study became affiliated with EPIC in 1996.
  Males Females Number of participants Percentage of EPIC cohort
Aarhus 8433 8721 17 154 3.29%
Copenhagen 18 745 21 154 39 899 7.65%
Denmark 27 178 29 875 57 053 10.94%

Follow-up

Active follow-up was accomplished through 2001 and 2002 by sending out postal questionnaires that included questions on diet, lifestyle, self-rated health, and social network. Questions were also asked about diagnosis of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A total of 45 271 people (79.35%) completed the questionnaire. By July 2013, a total of 4110 men and 5886 women had died after entry into the EPIC study. At the end of 2011, cancers had been diagnosed in 5449 men and 5886 women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers).

Scientists

Copenhagen

Principal Investigator
Dr Anne Tjønneland
Head of Research

Co-Investigator or Study Coordinator

Anja Olsen
Group Leader
Ole Raaschou-Nielsen
Group Leader
Database Manager
Katja Boll
Programmer

Other key people

Jytte Halkjær
Postdotoral Researcher
Pernille Envold Bidstrup
Postdotoral Researcher

Aarhus

Principal Investigator
Dr Kim Overvad
Professor

Co-Investigator or Study Coordinator

Marianne Uhre Jakobsen
Associate Professor
Christina C. Dahm
Associate Professor
Erik Berg Schmidt
Professor, Consultant
Database Manager
Helle Eriksen
Statistician


Funding

Copenhagen

Financial support is provided by:
  • Danish Cancer Society
  • European Union
  • Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation
  • NordForsk
  • Nordic Cancer Union

Aarhus

Financial support is provided by:
  • Danish Cancer Society
  • European Union
  • Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation
  • NordForsk

Research Activities

Copenhagen

  • Studies on diet in relation to cancer. The most important fields are alcohol, fruit and vegetables, meat/fish, and wholegrain products. In addition, studies on macronutrients (fat and specific fatty acids, protein, and carbohydrates), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and risk of cancer are carried out, including the influence and interaction of dietary supplements. Another focus area is the association between intake of phytoestrogens and risk of cancer.

  • Studies on overweight/waist circumference in relation to cancer, including the relation between diet and subsequent development of overweight/obesity and waist circumference.

  • Studies on physical activity in relation to cancer. The main focus is physical activity in relation to cancers of the breast, colorectum, and prostate.

  • Survival and prognosis and cancer. The Copenhagen centre has initiated a new follow-up study, where women in the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort diagnosed with incident breast cancer are contacted and information is gathered about diet and lifestyle after diagnosis, through questionnaires. The women are followed up for risk of relapse and death.

  • Wholegrain – Nordic diet. Coordination of the HELGA project, a Nordic project with the primary aim to increase knowledge of health effects of wholegrain foods.

Aarhus

  • Diet, lifestyle, genetic susceptibility, and development of cancer

  • Diet, lifestyle, genetic susceptibility, and development of cardiovascular diseases

  • Diet, lifestyle, genetic susceptibility, and development of type 2 diabetes

  • Overweight – causes and implications.