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Research in the Centre for Fertility and Health

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Our scientific goal is to greatly advance the understanding how changes in patterns of fertility and family structure influence child and adult health through social and biological pathways.

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Health implications of changes in patterns of fertility and family structure

In the last few decades we have witnessed marked changes in patterns of fertility and family structure in rich countries. These include increasing age at childbirth, a lower number of children born to each woman or man, greater use of assisted reproductive technology (ART), higher frequency of family disruptions and increasingly complex family structures.

Elucidation of the complex biological and social causal mechanisms requires broad expertise. The multidisciplinary research team at Centre for Fertility and Health consists of epidemiologists, geneticists, demographers, sociologists and economists from Norway and abroad. Our research can be described in five integrated themes of research. Most of our research projects and activities cut across several research themes.

  • Theme 1: Maternal and paternal age. The impact of advanced maternal and paternal age at childbirth on diseases in parents and offspring.
  • Theme 2: Fertility problems. Health consequences of subfertility and assisted reproductive technologies for parents and children.
  • Theme 3: Fertility and family structure. Health consequences for other components of reproductive history (number of children/siblings, childlessness, age at first birth, interval between births) and family instability.
  • Theme 4: Statistical methods. Our research employs numerous statistical analysis strategies where we contribute actively to the methods.
  • Theme 5: Intergenerational transmission of health. How health and disease are transmitted between generations through biological and social pathways.

You can read more about our research themes in our annual report for 2018.

Data Sources

We make use of the unique Norwegian infrastructure of registries, cohorts and biobanks. The nationwide registries in Norway and other Nordic countries have been extensively used for medical and social science research. At the Centre for Fertility and Health we will take a long step beyond the current practice by integrating information from a large number of different registries with additional linkages to several surveys and cohort studies.

Population registries

Health registries