Danish Pathology Life Course (PATHOLIFE) cohort: a register based cohort extending upon a national tissue biobank

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PURPOSE: The Danish Pathology Life Course (PATHOLIFE) cohort was established to facilitate epidemiological research relating histological and cytological features extracted from patient tissue specimens to the rich life course histories, including both prior and future register data, of the entire Danish population. Research results may increase quality of diagnosis, prognosis and stratification of patient subtypes, possibly identifying novel routes of treatment.

PARTICIPANTS: All Danish residents from 1 January 1986 to 31 December 2019, totalling 8 593 421 individuals.

FINDINGS TO DATE: We provide an overview of the subpopulation of Danish residents who have had a tissue specimen investigated within the Danish healthcare system, including both the primary sector and hospitals. We demonstrate heterogeneity in sociodemographic and prognostic factors between the general Danish population and the above mentioned subpopulation, and also between the general Danish population and subpopulations of patients with tissue specimens from selected anatomical sites. Results demonstrate the potential of the PATHOLIFE cohort for integrating many different factors into identification and selection of the most valuable tissue blocks for studies of specific diseases and their progression. Broadly, we find that living with a partner, having higher education and income associates with having a biopsy overall. However, this association varies across different tissue and patient types, which also display differences in time-to-death and causes of death.

FUTURE PLANS: The PATHOLIFE cohort may be used to study specified patient groups and link health related events from several national health registries, and to sample patient groups, for which stored tissue specimens are available for further research investigations. The PATHOLIFE cohort thereby provides a unique opportunity to prospectively follow people that were characterised and sampled in the past.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere068483
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number4
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

    Research areas

  • Humans, Biological Specimen Banks, Life Change Events, Epidemiologic Studies, Denmark/epidemiology, Registries

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