Swedish Mammography Cohort

Lead Contact and/or Principal Investigator (PI):

  • Alicja Wolk, Dr.Med.Sci.
    Department of Environmental Medicine
    Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Funded Since: 1987
Funding Source: Karolinska Institute; The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet); The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas); The Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS); and the Swedish Cancer Society
Year(s) of Enrollment: 1987-1990
Study Website: http://www.imm.ki.se/smcExternal Web Site Policy

From 1987 to 1990, a population-based mammography screening program was introduced in two counties in central Sweden.In Västmanland County, all women born between 1917 and 1948 received a mailed invitation to be screened by mammography between March 1987 and March 1989 (n=41,786) together with a 6-page questionnaire; 31,735 women (76%) returned the completed questionnaires. In Uppsala County, all women born between 1914 and 1948 were invited to the screening and received the same questionnaire between January 1988 and December 1990 (n=48,517); 34,916 women (72%) returned the completed questionnaires. Hence, questionnaires completed before undergoing mammography were obtained from 66,651 women (74%) in the source population. These questionnaires included items about diet, parity, age at first child's birth, history of breast cancer in family, weight, height, and education.

In 1997, a second questionnaire was sent to all cohort members who were still living in the study area. The questionnaire updated information about diet and was extended to include information on physical activity, medical history, age at menarche, history of oral contraceptive use, age at menopause, postmenopausal hormone use and lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking history and use of dietary supplements. The majority of questions in the questionnaires have been validated.

During 2008-2009, the exposure information was updated and extended by sending out two new questionnaires – one questionnaire on health including several signs of symptoms, sleeping, social relations, etc. (2008), and one on diet, dietary supplement use, and lifestyle factors (2009).

Incident cases of cancer are ascertained by record linkages of the study population with the National Swedish Cancer Register and the Regional Cancer Registers. Cardiovascular and other diseases, as well as surgeries and causes of death are identified by linkage to the National Inpatient and other registries at the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare. Ascertainment of cancer cases and other diseases is almost 100 percent complete. Dates of deaths are ascertained through the Swedish Death Register (100% complete), and information on date of moving out of the study area is obtained by linkage with the Swedish Population Register.

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