About the study
The Stockholm Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study (SBC Multigen) was established in 2018/2019, as a result of a probability matching between the Stockholm Metropolitan Study (SMS) and RELINK53.
The data material contains information from 14 608 cohort members (as well as their parents, siblings, friends, spouses, and children).
Currently, it is possible to follow this cohort from their birth and up to the age of 67. In addition, the structure of data allows us to examine and contrast the life trajectories of individuals who share genetic and/or environmental factors.
The Stockholm Birth Cohort Study (SBC) was first created in 2004/2005 by a probability matching of two de-identified datasets. The first, the Stockholm Metropolitan study (SMS; 1953–1985), consists of all children born in 1953 and living in the Stockholm metropolitan area in 1963. The second, The Swedish Work and Mortality Database (1980–2009; WMD), consists of all individuals who were born in 1985 and living in Sweden in 1980 or 1990.
The initiative to create the SBC was taken by Denny Vågerö at the Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS), Stockholm University/Karolinska Institutet, and Sten-Åke Stenberg at the Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University (SOFI).
Stenberg, S. Å., Vågerö, D., Österman, R., Arvidsson, E., von Otter, C. and Janson, C. G. (2007) "Stockholm Birth Cohort Study 1953-2003: a new tool for life-course studies." Scand J Public Health, 35(1):104-10
Stenberg, S. Å. and Vågerö, D. (2006) "Cohort profile: the Stockholm birth cohort of 1953." Int J Epidemiol, 35(3):546-8.
To enable an extended follow-up of the SMS, the WMD was replaced by a new de-identified data material called RELINK53. RELINK53 is defined as all individuals born in 1953 and living in Sweden in 1960, 1965, and/or 1968. It also contains these individuals' family members (for example: parents, children, friends, spouses, and children). This turned the SBC into a multigenerational data material which is now referred to as the Stockholm Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study (SBC Multigen).
The work with establishing the SBC Multigen was performed by Ylva B Almquist and Bitte Modin, both at the Department of Public Health Sciences, Stockholm University. Ylva B Almquist is the chair of the steering committee of the SBC Multigen.
Almquist, Y. B., Grotta, A., Vågerö, D., Stenberg, S.-Å., & Modin, B. (2019). Cohort Profile Update: The Stockholm Birth Cohort Study. International Journal of Epidemiology, doi: 10.1093/ije/dyz185
The Stockholm Metropolitan Study (SMS)
The Stockholm Metropolitan Study (SMS) consists of all children born in 1953 and living in the Stockholm metropolitan area in 1963. Register and survey follow-ups were carried out up until 1986 when the project was ended and data de-identified.
The Swedish Work and Mortality Database (WMD)
The Swedish Work and Mortality Database (WMD) consists of all individuals who were born before 1985 and lived in Sweden in 1980 and/or 1990. The WMD includes information on income, work, education, family formation, in-patient care, and mortality for the period 1981 to 2009.
RELINK53, created in 2017/2018, is defined as all individuals born in 1953 who lived in Sweden in 1960, 1965, and/or 1968, as well as their ascendant, contemporaneous and descendant family members. RELINK53 contains information collected from a variety of administrative registers.
We have considered the ethics of matching two anonymous datasets to each other, including the uncertainty in linking. At no point in this procedure have we breached the anonymity of those individuals that are part of the cohort. Even attempting to identify a certain individual behind a specific anonymous observation would be criminal offence. Researchers have access only to small segments of the data base. The data are stored in encrypted form, and the master copy is locked up in a safe. Consequently, the risk that a person’s integrity is breached is extremely small. We find that such a risk is by far outweighed the positive value of being able to do unique studies into multigenerational patterns of inequality and resilience processes.
The Regional Ethical Review Board in Stockholm has approved the creation of RELINK53 as well as the probability matching to the SMS that resulted in SBC Multigen (no. 2017/34-31/5; 2017/684-32). Statistics Sweden, along with the other governmental agencies that were asked to provide data, approved of the new matching, extensions and data extractions.
Last updated: December 6, 2022
Source: Stockholm Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study