Twin Research and Human Genetics

Articles/Sweden

The Swedish Young Male Twins Study: A Resource for Longitudinal Research on Risk Factors for Obesity and Cardiovascular Diseases

Finn Rasmussena1 c1, Malin Karka2, Sanna Tholina3, Nina Karneheda4 and Per Tyneliusa5

a1 Child and Adolescent Public Health Epidemiology Group, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, Norrbacka, Sweden; Division of Epidemiology, Stockholm Center of Public Health, Sweden. finn.rasmussen@ki.se

a2 Child and Adolescent Public Health Epidemiology Group, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, Norrbacka, Sweden; Division of Epidemiology, Stockholm Center of Public Health, Sweden.

a3 Division of Epidemiology, Stockholm Center of Public Health, Sweden.

a4 Child and Adolescent Public Health Epidemiology Group, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, Norrbacka, Sweden.

a5 Division of Epidemiology, Stockholm Center of Public Health, Sweden.

Abstract

The Swedish Young Male Twins Study is a population-based longitudinal twin study founded in 1997 through record-linkages of several national registers. Details on pregnancy and birth were obtained from the Swedish Medical Birth Register and used to identify 3566 male twins (1783 pairs) born in Sweden between 1973 and 1979 and resident in Sweden in 1997. A record-linkage was made between the Medical Birth Register and the Military Service Conscription Register for the years 1991 to 1999, providing information on body weight, height, blood pressure, muscle strength, cognitive ability of these twins at age 18 and 19 years. In 1998, 2002 and 2005 to 2006, the twins were surveyed on their zygosity, socioeconomic status, lifestyle factors (such as eating habits, physical activity, smoking habits, use of alcohol etc), height and weight. In 2002, additional information was collected on perceived body shape and size, and eating behavior, according to the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire. In 2003, DNA via buccal mucosa was collected from a subset of the twins. Recent research using the Swedish Young Male Twins datasets has explored the relationships between fetal growth, body size and blood pressure in young adulthood, genetic and environmental contributions to eating behavior and physical activity, and relationships between diet and physical activity patterns with longitudinal changes in body mass index and attained waist circumference.

(Received July 02 2006)

(Accepted August 15 2006)

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Finn Rasmussen, Child and Adolescent Public Health Epidemiology Group, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, Norrbacka SE-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden.

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