Gerontology – University of Copenhagen

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IFSV English > Sections > Section of Social Medicine > Research > Gerontology

The research group in Gerontology

The overall purpose of the research conducted in the gerontology group at the Section of Social Medicine is to study what leads to disease and functional decline, how to delay disease and decline in old age, and how to secure effective rehabilitation in case of disease or disability.

Why do people age at different rates?

We use a range of biological markers (e.g. inflammatory markers such as interleukins, hsCRP, TNF-α), markers of deteriorating physical and cognitive function, data on life expectancy, and data on psychosocial factors to address this question. Furthermore, we examine if it is possible to delay functional decline in middle aged and old people, and how adults can be rehabilitated.

We have a special focus on three overall research programs.

1. Life course and aging

2. Risk factors for disease and functional decline among older people

3. Rehabilitation in older people

Our research is based on longitudinal studies where repeated measures of the variables of interest have been collected over the life course. This means that the direction of causality in the studied associations can be supported by the temporal order of events. We utilize data from a number of sources including Danish birth cohorts and observational studies, large scale international studies, and national registries:

Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank
The Metropolit 1953 Cohort
The Danish Longitudinal Study on Work, Unemployment and Health
The Copenhagen Perinatal Cohort
The Danish Intervention Study on Preventive Home Visits
The Conscription Database
The 1914 Birth Cohort
Twin studies (SDU)
Copenhagen School Health Records Registry
Ældredatabasen (SFI)
GAZEL Cohort
Women’s Health Initiative
Whitehall II
National registries


Rikke Lund, associate professor

Charlotte Juul Nilsson, associate professor