Diet, Cancer and Health

Group leader: Anne Tjønneland

Our research group focuses on epidemiological cancer research and prevention within emphasis on nutrition and public health. We have many years of experience with establishment and exploration of cohort studies and are responsible for the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort and its recent extension the Diet, Cancer and Heath – Next Generations cohort. Our group is both a research group and a management office for the extensive data- and biobank.

Our main research domains are: 

  • Dietary patterns, lifestyle factors and metabolic measures in relation to cancer and other non-communicable diseases
  • Evaluation and validation of metabolomics and dietary assessment tools
  • Identification of general metabotypes in the DCH-NG cohort

Our research methods are embedded within epidemiology and range from questionnaire studies on lifestyle and environmental factors, registry-based studies on e.g. familial risk factors for cancer, validation studies and research based on the biological material such as research into biomarkers, metabolomics and the microbiome.

Through the cohorts, we are involved in many national and international collaborations and research networks that cover a wide range of research domains.

Diet, Genes and Environment test

Our aim is to contribute to research on cancer pathogenesis and prevention with emphasis on modifiable risk factors. We want to increase the preventable fraction of cancer and be able to advice citizens, patients and physicians in relation to diet and lifestyle. We strive to ensure this focus by:

  • Conducting research that relates to the general population and its health challenges in close collaboration with citizen, patients and national as well as international experts
  • Supplying knowledge to authorities and disseminate our knowledge to the public
  • Making our data- and biobank resource available to the broad research community

Selected publications:

Tjønneland A, Christensen J, Olsen A, Stripp C, Thomsen BL, Overvad K, Peeters PH, van Gils CH, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Ocke MC, Thiebaut A, Fournier A, Clavel-Chapelon F, Berrino F, Palli D, Tumino R, Panico S, Vineis P, Agudo A, Ardanaz E, Martinez-Garcia C, Amiano P, Navarro C, Quiros JR, Key TJ, Reeves G, Khaw KT, Bingham S, Trichopoulou A, Trichopoulos D, Naska A, Nagel G, Chang-Claude J, Boeing H, Lahmann PH, Manjer J, Wirfalt E, Hallmans G, Johansson I, Lund E, Skeie G, Hjartaker A, Ferrari P, Slimani N, Kaaks R, Riboli E: Alcohol intake and breast cancer risk: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Cancer Causes Control 2007;18(4):361-373

Tjønneland A, Olsen A, Boll K, Stripp C, Christensen J, Engholm G, Overvad K: Study design, exposure variables, and socioeconomic determinants of participation in Diet, Cancer and Health: a population-based prospective cohort study of 57,053 men and women in Denmark. Scand J Public Health 2007;35(4):432-441

Johnsen NF, Frederiksen K, Christensen J, Skeie G, Lund E, Landberg R, Johansson I, Nilsson LM, Halkjær J, Olsen A, Overvad K, Tjønneland A: Whole-grain products and whole-grain types are associated with lower all-cause and cause-specific mortality in the Scandinavian HELGA cohort. Br J Nutr 2015;114(4):608-623

Kirkegaard H, Johnsen NF, Christensen J, Frederiksen K, Overvad K, Tjønneland A: Association of adherence to lifestyle recommendations and risk of colorectal cancer: a prospective Danish cohort study. BMJ 2010;341:c5504

Halkjær J, Olsen A, Bjerregaard LJ, Deharveng G, Tjønneland A, Welch AA, Crowe FL, Wirfalt E, Hellstrom V, Niravong M, Touvier M, Linseisen J, Steffen A, Ocke MC, Peeters PH, Chirlaque MD, Larranaga N, Ferrari P, Contiero P, Frasca G, Engeset D, Lund E, Misirli G, Kosti M, Riboli E, Slimani N, Bingham S: Intake of total, animal and plant proteins, and their food sources in 10 countries in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Eur J Clin Nutr 2009;63 Suppl 4:S16-S36

Johnsen NF, Ekblond A, Thomsen BL, Overvad K, Tjønneland A: Leisure time physical activity and mortality. Epidemiology 2013;24(5):717-725


Access to data and/or biological material

For information about access to data and/or biological material in DCH and DCH-NG, please contact us at 


Group leader Anne Tjønneland
Research profile


Diet, Cancer and Health
Staff Members

Key Funding

Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond

Danish Cancer Society - Scientific Committe and Knæk Cancer

World Cancer Research Fund

Tryg Fonden

Independent Research Fund Denmark


EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition)

DiGuMet (Diet x gut microbiome-based metabotypes)