Use of genetic testing for hypolactasia trait in the North Denmark Region

Morten Mørk*, Stine Linding Andersen, Inge Søkilde Pedersen, Anja Ernst, Simon Lykkeboe, Henrik Bygum Krarup

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Lactose intolerance (LI) may be considered in patients with unspecific gastrointestinal symptoms, but there is no clear consensus on when and how to diagnose the disorder. The LCT-13910 CC genotype is associated with acquired primary lactase deficiency (adult-type hypolactasia; ATH). We aimed to describe the number of tests and test results in the North Denmark Region considering patient age, geographical origin and repeated testing.

METHODS: Retrospective evaluation of the polymerase chain reaction-based LCT-13910 genotype tests registered in the clinical laboratory information system (LABKA II) with data linkage to Danish nationwide registers.

RESULTS: Between 18 May 2007 and 31 December 2018, a total of 23,560 individuals were tested. There was a sevenfold increase in the number of tests performed during the study period. About 9.8% of the tests performed in 2018 were repeated testing in the same individuals. Overall, 8.8% of tested individuals were younger than 5 years, 90.7% were of Danish origin and 5.5% originated from outside of Europe. The LCT-13910 CC genotype was identified in 13.3% of all tested individuals, in 16.0% of children younger than 5 years, in 6.8% of Danish individuals and in 90.9% originating from outside of Europe.

CONCLUSIONS: In the North Denmark Region, a marked increase in the use of genetic testing for hypolactasia was observed and repeated testing was frequent. Furthermore, the use of the test and the test results were dependent on patient age and geographical origin. Results inform the debate on when and how to use genetic testing in the diagnosing of LI.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Pages (from-to)1012-1018
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Lactose intolerance
  • genetic testing
  • geographical origin
  • hypolactasia
  • pattern of request


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of genetic testing for hypolactasia trait in the North Denmark Region'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this