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Towards more comprehensive nationwide familial aggregation studies in Denmark: The Danish Civil Registration System versus the lite Danish Multi-Generation Register

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AIM: Linking information on family members in the Danish Civil Registration System (CRS) with information in Danish national registers provides unique possibilities for research on familial aggregation of diseases, health patterns, social factors and demography. However, the CRS is limited in the number of generations that it can identify. To allow more complete familial linkages, we introduce the lite Danish Multi-Generation Register (lite MGR) and the future full Danish MGR that is currently being developed.

METHODS: We generated the lite MGR by linking the current version of the CRS with historical versions stored by the Danish National Archives in the early 1970s, which contain familial links not saved in the current CRS. We describe and compare the completeness of familial links in the lite MGR and the current version of the CRS. We also describe planned procedures for generating the full MGR by linking the current CRS with scanned archived records from Parish Registers.

RESULTS: Among people born in Denmark in 1960 or later, the current CRS contains information on both parents. However, it has limited parental information for people born earlier. Among the 732,232 people born in Denmark during 1950-1959, 444,084 (60.65%) had information on both parents in the CRS. In the lite MGR, it was 560,594 (76.56%).

CONCLUSIONS: The lite MGR offers more complete information on familial relationships than the current CRS. The lite and full MGR will offer an infrastructure tying together existing research infrastructures, registers and biobanks, raising their joint research value to an unparalleled level.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Pages (from-to)14034948221147096
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Apr 2023

    Research areas

  • Civil Registration System, Denmark, Epidemiology, Multi-Generation Register, church books, cohort studies, familial aggregation studies, parish registers, population register

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