Clinical epidemiology forms the very foundation of evidence-based medicine. By applying modern epidemiological methods in a clinical setting, clinical epidemiology seeks to answer important clinical questions about the prognosis of patients, and to guide clinical decision-making with the best available evidence.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology is a highly specialized research department at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital that works with clinical epidemiology at an international level.

The department's mission is to contribute to improved diagnostics and treatment, and thus to improve patient prognosis. The department seeks to fulfil its mission by means of four activities:

  1. Conducting free and independent world-class research within diagnostics, treatment, and prognosis.
  2. Developing strong epidemiological research methods.
  3. Educating researchers.
  4. Counselling clinical departments and advising public authorities.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology strives to maintain a stimulating and international work environment with highly qualified employees who have good social skills.

Ongoing projects

Colon Polyp project

The association between hyperplastic polyps and cancer.

NSAID use and risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter: a population-based case-control study

The risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter associated with the use of non-selective NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors.

Prognosis for Barrett's oesophagus

The incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma and high-grade dysplasia in patients with Barrett's oesophagus.

Adverse drug effects project

Development of an innovative computerized system to detect adverse drug reactions (ADRs), supplementing spontaneous reporting systems.

The type 2 diabetes cohort

The relation between diabetes and subsequent risk of surgical procedures, dialysis, socio-economic outcome, and mortality.


Intensive care epidemiology

The association between admission to intensive care units and risk of death and long-term complications such as somatic and psychiatric illness.

Statins and breast cancer

The effect of statins on breast-cancer recurrence patients.

Statins and ALS

The association between patients who suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the use of statins.

“Soon Parents”

This internet cohort study of parents-to-be aims to evaluate the possible impact of several lifestyle, behavioral, and environmental factors on the time to pregnancy, as well as the relationship between several exposures and the risk of miscarriage and low infant birth weight.


Milestones- important publications

Arthritis medication and arrhythmia: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use and the risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter – a population-based case-control study. Schmidt M, et al. BMJ. 2011;343:d3450

Statins and the prognosis after intensive treatment: Statin use and mortality within 180 days after bacteremia – a population-based cohort study. Thomsen RW, et al. Crit Care Med. 2006;34:1080–6

Blood clots in legs and lungs, acute myocardial infarction, and stroke: Venous thromboembolism and subsequent hospitalization due to acute arterial cardiovascular events – a 20-year cohort study. Sørensen HT, et al. Lancet. 2007;370:1773–9

Blood clots in legs and lungs as a prognostic factor in connection with cancer: Prognosis of cancers associated with venous thromboembolism. Sørensen HT, et al. N Engl J Med. 2000;343:1846–50


Selected publications - specific for research in children and young people:

Pre-gravid oral contraceptive use and time to pregnancy: a Danish prospective cohort study.
Mikkelsen EM, Riis AH, Wise LA, Hatch EE, Rothman KJ, Sørensen HT. Hum Reprod. 2013 May;28(5):1398-405.

Parental history of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and risk in offspring in a nationwide cohort study: does sex matter?
Somers EC, Antonsen S, Pedersen L, Sørensen HT. Ann Rheum Dis. 2013 Apr;72(4):525-9.

Congenital heart defects and developmental and other psychiatric disorders: a Danish nationwide cohort study.
Olsen M, Sørensen HT, Hjortdal VE, Christensen TD, Pedersen L. Circulation. 2011 Oct 18;124(16):1706-12.

A prospective cohort study of physical activity and time to pregnancy.
Wise LA, Rothman KJ, Mikkelsen EM, Sørensen HT, Riis AH, Hatch EE. Fertil Steril. 2012 May;97(5):1136-42.e1-4.

Educational achievement and economic self-sufficiency in adults after childhood bacterial meningitis.
Roed C, Omland LH, Skinhoj P, Rothman KJ, Sorensen HT, Obel N. JAMA. 2013 Apr 24;309(16):1714-21.



Department of Clinical Epidemiology possesses a unique capability in linking data from a wide range of biobanks and electronic registries including the Civil Personal Registration (CPR) system, the Danish Cancer Registry, the Danish National Patient Registry, the Laboratory Information System (LABKA), and many more.


Significant international collaborators

Department of Clinical Epidemiology has a broad international research network, which includes Boston University, University of North Carolina, Leiden University, Stanford University, Karolinska Institutet, Harvard Medical School, and Ohio State University.