University of Oulu

S. Filatova, D. Gyllenberg, L. Sillanmäki, A. Suominen, S. Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, A. Kaljonen, M. Kerkelä, M. Keski-Säntti, T. Ristikari, H. Lagström, T. Hurtig, J. Miettunen, H.-M. Surcel, J. Veijola, M. Gissler & A. Sourander (2019) The Finnish psychiatric birth cohort consortium (PSYCOHORTS) – content, plans and perspectives, Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 73:6, 357-364, DOI: 10.1080/08039488.2019.1636135

The Finnish psychiatric birth cohort consortium (PSYCOHORTS) : content, plans and perspectives

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Author: Filatova, S.1; Gyllenberg, D.1,2,3; Sillanmäki, L.1;
Organizations: 1Centre for Child Psychiatry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
2National Institute of Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
3Department of Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
4Turku University Central Hospital, Turku, Finland
5Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku, Finland
6Medical Research Center, University of Oulu and University Hospital of Oulu, Finland
7Department of Public Health, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
8Research Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychiatry University of Oulu, Finland
9PEDEGO Research Unit, Child Psychiatry, University of Oulu, Finland
10Clinic of Child Psychiatry, University Hospital of Oulu, Finland
11Centre for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Finland
12Biobank Borealis, University of Oulu, Finland
13Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland
14University Hospital of Oulu, Finland
15Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
16INVEST Research Flagship, University of Turku, Finland
17Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Informa, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-10-14


Background: Psychiatric disorders tend to be developmental, and longitudinal settings are required to examine predictors of psychiatric phenomena. Replicating and combining data and results from different birth cohorts, which are a source of reliable data, can make research even more valuable. The Finnish Psychiatric Birth Cohort Consortium (PSYCOHORTS) project combines birth cohorts in Finland.

Aim: The aim of this paper is to introduce content, plans and perspectives of the PSYCOHORTS project that brings together researchers from Finland. In addition, we illustrate an example of data harmonization using available data on causes of death.

Content: PSYCOHORTS includes eight Finnish birth cohorts. The project has several plans: to harmonize different data from birth cohorts, to incorporate biobanks into psychiatric birth cohort research, to apply multigenerational perspectives, to integrate longitudinal patterns of marginalization and inequality in mental health, and to utilize data in health economics research. Data on causes of death, originally obtained from Finnish Cause of Death register, were harmonized across the six birth cohorts using SAS macro facility.

Results: Harmonization of the cause of death data resulted in a total of 21,993 observations from 1965 to 2015. For example, the percentage of deaths due to suicide and the sequelae of intentional self-harm was 14% and alcohol-related diseases, including accidental poisoning by alcohol, was 13%.

Conclusions: PSYCOHORTS lays the foundation for complex examinations of psychiatric disorders that is based on compatible datasets, use of biobanks and multigenerational approach to risk factors, and extensive data on marginalization and inequality.

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Series: Nordic journal of psychiatry
ISSN: 0803-9488
ISSN-E: 1502-4725
ISSN-L: 0803-9488
Volume: 73
Issue: 6
Pages: 357 - 364
DOI: 10.1080/08039488.2019.1636135
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: This research was funded by the Academy of Finland Flagship Program (decision number: 320162), the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland (decision number: 303581) and the Academy of Finland Health from Cohorts and Biobanks Program (decision number: 308552). This research was supported by the INVEST Research Flagship, APEX Research Consortium and PSYCOHORTS consortium.
Copyright information: © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.