Faster delivery of SoS data due to abolished confidentiality agreement

The National Board of Health and Welfare (SoS) will no longer apply the previously used confidentiality agreement for data requests from authorities with statistics privacy (such as state universities). Therefore SoS data can be delivered faster. Read (and share) the information about this on Linkedin:

Related questions can be posed to

SAVE THE DATE: 10-year symposium of SIMSAM 16th May 2018, ‘The future of Swedish register-based research’

By the end of 2018 the Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social And Medical Sciences (SIMSAM), funded by the Swedish Research Council, has been active for 10 years. This will be acknowledged by an open national one-day symposium in Stockholm 16 May reflecting on how the achievements and experiences of SIMSAM and other parties engaged in register-based research can help develop register-based research in Sweden in the future.

In addition to SIMSAM presentations, challenges and possibilities related to register-based research will be highlighted by members of the scientific advisory board of SIMSAM and by representatives of the National Board of Health and Welfare, Statistics Sweden and the Swedish National Data Service.

Link to preliminary program

Anyone with an interest in register-based research is warmly invited to attend this inspiring event, which will take place Wednesday 16th May (9.00-17.20) at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna (Eugeniahemmet). The symposium is jointly arranged by the SIMSAM nodes SUNDEM at Stockholm University and SIMSAM UGIR at Karolinska Institutet.

Registration for the symposium will open early 2018, so please save the date 16th May 2018 in your calendar!

Link to symposium web site where information about registration etc. will be posted at  as soon as possible.

2 million NOK from NordForsk to Anita Berglund (KI) for a Nordic graduate education course in register-based research

Anita Berglund (Karolinska Institutet, PI of SINGS) has been granted 2 million NOK from NordForsk's Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare for a Nordic graduate course entitled “Key concepts and principles for design and critical interpretation of Nordic register-based studies”.

Link to the call

Link to information about additional related courses funded by NordForsk

Open positions:

StatFinn and EPID Research merged their operations in January 2017 and as one company offer a full range of services in Clinical Trial Biostatistics and Data Management, Epidemiology and Real-World Evidence that covers the drug development life cycle – from Phase I to Phase IV and beyond. The company is offering an opportunity to work with the leading international healthcare organizations and the latest international healthcare trends in a dynamic and flexible environment of a growing expert company.

Pharmacoepidemiologist – Gothenburg, Sweden
Research Assistant – Gothenburg, Sweden
Senior Statistician – Gothenburg, Sweden

Link to additional information about the positions and how to apply

Deadline for applications – 8 December 2017


SND activities 14-15 November in Gothenburg

SND workshop for researchers 15 November
The theme of this year's workshop is research infrastructures or cohorts with large amounts of personal data. Discussions will focus on how SND in the future can assist in data management, storage and transmission of data with the aim of making as much data as possible available and reusable.

Link to more information and registration to the workshop

SND Forum 14 November: "The Road to FAIR Data":
At this forum reliable methods and standards for producing "FAIR data" will be presented and discussed.
The FAIR principles have quickly become widely recognized as a framework for making research data available and possible to identify, harmonize and reuse also in the future. But what is done to make Swedish research data "FAIR"?

Link to more information and registration to the forum

Both activities are free of charge (lunch and coffee included)

Deadline for registration to both events: 6 November 2017.


SIMSAM UGIR participation at the 21st International Epidemiological Association (IEA) World Congress of Epidemiology (WCE2017)

We attended the 21st International Epidemiological Association (IEA) World Congress of Epidemiology (WCE2017) held from August 19th to 22th  2017 in Saitama, Japan. The theme of the conference was “Global/Regional/ Local Health and Epidemiology in a Changing World.”  There were interesting symposia on various topics and our personal highlights were “Cancer data for cancer action”, “Physical inactivity: the biggest public health problem of the 21st century”, and “Use of big data and cohorts to uncover causes of non-communicable diseases”.

Each of us participated in the presentation sessions. Eva Doorakkers had an oral presentation on August 21st on the topic “Helicobacter pylori eradication and the risk of gastric cancer: a population-based cohort study”.  The study shows a decreased risk of gastric cancer with longer time after eradication treatment for Helicobacter pylori in the Swedish population. Poorna Anand had a poster presentation on the topic “Nutrition impact symptoms as a determinant of quality of life and mortality after surgery for esophageal cancer”. The study shows that nutrition symptoms are associated with poor social, emotional and global quality of life, and poorer 5-year overall survival.  Qiaoli Wang had a poster presentation on the topic “Tobacco smoking cessation and risk of esophageal cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis”. The study found a gradually decreased risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma after tobacco smoking cessation, especially in Western populations, while smoking cessation had limited effects on preventing esophageal adenocarcinoma.

By attending the conference, we enhanced our knowledge in epidemiological methodology and applications of large-scale registers for cancer research. The conference also provided excellent opportunities to network with epidemiologists from all over the world.

We are grateful to our funders: Svenska Läkaresällskapet, Radiumhemmets Forskningsfonder and Karolinska Institutet fonder, for giving us the opportunity to attend this conference.



   Eva Doorakkers
   Poorna Anand
   Qiaoli Wang

   Doctoral students from the
   Department of Molecular
   Medicine and Surgery
   Karolinska Institutet


Nordic Demographic Symposium 2017

The 20th Nordic Demographic Symposium was held in Turku, Finland, between 14 and 16 June 2017. It attracted about 150 participants from the Nordic region and beyond. Researchers from SUNDEM and the Stockhom University Demography Unit were well presented. They contributed with a wide variety of presentations, as listed below. Next time, the 21st Nordic Demographic Symposium will be organized by SUDA. The conference will be located to Iceland and held in June 2019.


“Cohort trends in divorce and family dissolution in Sweden, 1970–2005”, Juho Härkönen (Stockholm University)

“Two decades of same-sex marriage in Sweden: A demographic account”, Martin Kolk, Gunnar Andersson (Stockholm University)

“Why do migrants go back and forth? Circular migration between Finland and Sweden”, Rosa Weber (Stockholm University), Jan Saarela (Åbo Akademi University)

“Understanding the factors that influence childbearing over the life course: causal links between employment, partnership, socio-economic status and fertility”, Ben Wilson (Stockholm University)

“Couples’ employment dynamic during the great recession and their transition to parenthood”, Chiara Ludovica Comolli (Stockholm University)

“Fertility at the dawn of a new millennium: The interplay of family policy, economic crisis and childbearing in Iceland”, Ari Jónsson (Stockholm University)

“Educational contraction in Finland? Cohort trends in educational attainment and educational inequality”, Outi Sirniö, Juho Härkönen (Stockholm University)

“Men’s childcare: a comparative study of fathers’ parental leave use in Finland and Sweden”, Ann-Zofie Duvander, Eleonora Mussino (Stockholm University) and Jussi Tervola (Social Insurance Institution of Finland)

“Occupations and fathers on extended parental leave, Sweden 2009”, Helen Eriksson (Stockholm University)

“Trends over time in his and her earnings following parenthood in Sweden”, Anna-Karin Nylin, Kelly Musick (Cornell University), Ann-Zofie Duvander, Sunnee Billingsley and Marie Evertsson (Stockholm University)

“Education, gender, and cohort fertility in the Nordic countries”, Marika Jalovaara (University of Turku), Gerda Neyer (Stockholm University), Gunnar Andersson (Stockholm University), Johan Dahlberg (Stockholm University), Lars Dommermuth (Statistics Norway), Peter Fallesen (Stockholm University), Trude Lappegård (University of Oslo)

“Why has childlessness increased among highly educated men in Sweden?”, Margarita Chudnovskaya (Stockholm University)

“Are life-course trajectories of single fathers and single mothers shaped differently by educational attainment?”, Klara Capkova (Stockholm University), Marika Jalovaara (University of Turku)

 “Is the home-care-allowance disadvantaging single mothers? Labor market consequences of the cash-for-care benefit for single mothers in Finland”, Kathrin Morosow (Stockholm University), Marika Jalovaara (University of Turku)

“Explaining sibling similarity in fertility – what more than socialization matters?”, Johan Dahlberg (Stockholm University)


“Group affiliation of children of interethnic couples in Finland”, Obucina Ognjen (Stockholm University), Jan Saarela (Åbo Akademi University)

“Lineage Extinction after four Generations: A study of 19th, 20th, and 21st century Northern Sweden”, Martin Kolk (Stockholm University), Martin Fieder (University of Vienna)

“Regional inequalities in length of life: a Nordic comparison”, Ben Wilson (Stockholm University), Isaac Sasson (Tel Aviv University), Sven Drefahl (Stockholm University), Paul Henery (Stirling University), Caroline Uggla (Stockholm University)

“Social mobility in times of austerity and times of growth: the impact on mortality risk”, Carolina Uggla and Sunnee Billingsley (Stockholm University)

“Disparities in children’s family experiences by maternal education: the case of Finland”, Marika Jalovaara (University of Turku), Gunnar Andersson (Stockholm University)


SIMSAM supplement in Scandinavian Journal of Public Health: Practical and methodological issues in register-based research

Efforts of the SIMSAM network include to enhance the quality of register-based research and to support methodological developments. SIMSAM contributions to a dedicated supplement of Scandinavian Journal of Public Health (SJPH, volume 45, Issue 17, July 2017) is an important part of these endeavors. The SIMSAM SJPH supplement includes 11 papers, stemming from ongoing research activities within the SIMSAM network, and gives several examples of important practical aspects that researchers should consider when using Swedish and Nordic registers, as well as data quality, discussions of appropriate study designs and analytical strategies. The presented research is diverse and includes studies of immigrant populations, early-life determinants of childhood health and cardiovascular outcomes, as well as studies on effects of job training on return to the labor market and how social background affects educational choices among school children A review of both commonly used and more novel register-based study designs is presented, and further illustrated in several of the other papers in the supplement. Among analytical approaches, examples of quite different uses of propensity scores and related matching techniques are provided, reflecting the increased popularity of propensity scores in observational research in general as a strategy for control of confounding and selection effects.

Short, illustrative film “The benefits of using Nordic population registers for research purposes” developed by SINGS

Access the film by clicking on the image below.


There is a long tradition in the Nordic countries of maintaining well-established systems for health and other parts of the welfare state. Population-based registers for administrative purposes exist since decades. As data are already available, important research can be done in a cost- and time-effective manner, while maintaining personal privacy.

By using registers covering the entire populations or large parts of them, a unique and powerful resource for answering a multitude of research questions is provided. Data are combined by using the personal identification number, but this linkage is normally done by the authorities. The registers constitute a unique resource for research in order to provide better public health and welfare.

The Swedish Interdisciplinary Graduate School in register-based research (SINGS) is intended to develop knowledge, skills, and scientific and ethical approaches regarding how different sources of data and registers can and should be utilised in research, in preparation for a career within academia or elsewhere.

This is a short illustrative film on the topic.

Report suggesting new regulations on processing of personal data for research purposes

Committee members of a governmental inquiry (Forskningsdatautredningen) are authors of an interim report where they analyze what regulation of personal data processing for research purposes is possible and may be required given that the Data Protection Regulation (EU 2016/679) is to be applied from 25 May 2018, and submit the legislative proposals required.

Link to the report (SOU 2017:50)