Merete Osler

University of Southern Denmark, Odense, South Denmark, Denmark

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Publications (230)816.63 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: PurposeThe aim of this Cohort study of 10 527 Danish men was to investigate the extent to which the association between hypnotics and mortality is confounded by several markers of disease and living conditions.Methods Exposure was purchases of hypnotics 1995–1999 (“low users” (150 or less defined daily dose (DDD)) or “high users” (151 or more DDD)). Follow-up for all-cause mortality was from 1 Jan 2000 to 19 June 2010. Cox proportional hazard models were used to study the association. Covariates were entered one at a time and simultaneously. Results were reported using hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).ResultsWhen covariates were entered one at a time, the changes in HR estimates showed that psychiatric disease, socioeconomic position and substance abuse reduced the excess risk by 17–36% in the low user group and by 45–52% in the high user group. Somatic disease, intelligence score and cohabitation reduced the excess risk by 2–11% in the low user group and 8–24% in the high user group. When adjusting for all covariates, the HR was reduced to 1.22 95% CI (0.97–1.54) in the low user group and 1.43 95% CI (1.11–1.85) in the high user group.Conclusions The results of this study point at psychiatric disease, substance abuse and socioeconomic position as potential confounding factors partly explaining the association between use of hypnotics and all-cause mortality. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 02/2015; · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate the association between educational status and alcohol-related somatic and non-somatic morbidity and mortality among full siblings in comparison with non-related individuals. Cohort study. Denmark. Approximately 1.4 million full siblings born in Denmark between 1950 and 1979 were followed from age 28 until age 58 or censoring due to alcohol-related hospitalization and mortality. Cox-regression analyses were used to estimate associations of educational status with alcohol-related outcomes. Results from cohort analyses based on non-related individuals and inter-sibling analyses were compared. A lower educational status was associated with a higher rate of alcohol-related outcomes, especially among the youngest (28-37 years of age) and individuals born 1970-1979. Compared with the cohort analyses, the associations attenuated slightly in the inter-sibling analysis. For example in the cohort analysis, females with a basic school education born 1970-1979 had an increased rate of alcohol-related non-somatic morbidity and mortality (Hazard rate ratio (HR) =4.05, CI 95% 3.27-5.02) compared to those with a vocational education. In the inter-sibling analysis, the HR attenuated (HR = 2.66, CI 95% 1.95-3.63). For alcohol-related somatic outcomes the corresponding figures were HR = 3.47 (CI 95% 2.63-4.58) and HR = 3.36 (CI 95% 2.10-5.38), respectively. In general, the associations were stronger among females than males (aged 28-37) in the analyses on alcohol-related non-somatic outcomes. Health conditions earlier in life explained only a minor part of the associations. The association between educational status and alcohol-related somatic and non-somatic morbidity and mortality is only to a small degree driven by familial factors. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Addiction 12/2014; · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Combined effects of socioeconomic position and well-established risk factors on stroke incidence have not been formally investigated.
    Stroke 08/2014; 45(9). · 6.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: The cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p16ink4a, one of the two gene products of the ink4a/ARF (cdkn2a) locus on chromosome 9q21, is an important cell-cycle inhibitor and tumorsuppressor. p16ink4a upregulation has been linked to cellular senescence and results from studies on mammalian tissues suggest that p16ink4a may be biomarker of organismal versus chronological age. The objective of the present study was to determine the pattern in which p16ink4a is expressed by cells of human labial salivary glands and to analyse whether the level of its expression is associated with decline in midlife cognitive performance. Methods: The expression of p16ink4a was analysed by qRT-PCR in samples of labial salivary gland tissue from 181 middle-aged male study participants all born in 1953 and selected on the basis of change in midlife cognitive scores. The participants were divided into one group of men with high versus one group of men with declined cognitive performance at approximately age 57. The localization pattern of p16ink4a in the tissue was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Results: Human labial salivary glands express p16ink4a in a selective pattern. The p16ink4a expression level is slightly up-regulated in labial salivary gland tissue samples taken from a group of men with decline in midlife cognitive performance. Conclusions: p16ink4a may constitute a potential peripheral biomarker candidate for future studies of different trajectories of cognitive aging. Human labial salivary glands are a suitable model organ for the investigation of organismal versus chronological age.
    IADR General Session and Exhibition 2014; 06/2014
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    ABSTRACT: The Danish Conscription Database (DCD) was established to enable studies of the influence of early physical and mental exposures on adverse health and social outcomes from a life-course perspective. In Denmark, all young men are requested to appear before the conscription board when they turn 18 years, to be assessed for military service. The DCD was established by digitizing information from conscription board register cards on the height, weight, educational level, intelligence test score and examination details of Danish conscripts. The DCD contains information on 728 160 men born from 1939 through 1959 and examined by the conscription board from 1957 through 1984. The unique Danish personal identification number of each individual conscript has been traced, and this allows linkage of the DCD to all Danish health and socioeconomic registers. More than 130 000 deaths have been identified in a recent linkage to the Danish Register of Cause of Death. We encourage collaboration, and interested researchers should contact:
    International Journal of Epidemiology 06/2014; · 9.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One aim of the present study was to investigate whether symptoms of oral dryness (xerostomia) during daytime, assessed in a study group of middle-aged male positive and negative outliers in cognition scores, were associated with age-related degenerative changes in human labial salivary glands and with quantitative measures of the glandular autonomic innervation. Another aim was to study the relation between the autonomic innervation and loss of secretory acinar cells in these glands.
    Experimental Gerontology 06/2014; · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In an increasingly aged population, sleep disturbances and neurodegenerative disorders have become a major public health concern. Poor sleep quality and cognitive changes are complex health problems in ageing populations that are likely to be associated with increased frailty, morbidity and mortality and to be potential risk factors for further cognitive impairment. We aimed to evaluate whether sleep quality, excessive daytime sleepiness may be considered as early predictors of cognitive impairment.
    Clinical Neurophysiology 06/2014; 125:S101. · 2.98 Impact Factor
  • Clinical Neurophysiology 06/2014; 125:S101. · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To investigate the association between socioeconomic position (assessed by education, employment, and income) and complications following hysterectomy and assess the role of lifestyle, co-morbidity and clinical conditions on the relation.DesignRegister-based cohort study.Setting and populationThe study included nearly all Danish women (n=22,150) registered with a benign elective hysterectomy in the Danish Hysterectomy Database in the 2004-2008 period.Main outcome measuresData were analyzed using logistic regression models estimating the odds ratio with 95% confidence intervals.Methods Complications following hysterectomy.ResultsSeventeen percent of the women experienced complications in relation to the hysterectomy. Women with less than high school education and women not employed had higher odds of infection, complications and readmission than women with more than high school education and employed women. Furthermore, non-employed women had higher odds of hospitalization >4 days than women in employment. Lifestyle factors (smoking and body mass index) and co-morbidity status seemed to explain most of the social differences. However, an association between women with less than high school education and all complications remained unexplained. Furthermore, differences in lifestyle and co-morbidity status only partially explained the higher odds of infection, complications and hospitalization >4 days for women out of employment compared to women in employment.Conclusion Women with low socioeconomic position have significantly higher odds of complications following hysterectomy than women with high socioeconomic position. Unhealthy lifestyle and presence of co-morbidity in women with low socioeconomic position partially explains the differences in complications.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica 06/2014; · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To isolate the effect of education from the influence of potential underlying factors, we investigated the association of education with the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and ischemic heart disease (IHD) using twin data to adjust for familial factors shared within twins, including genetic make-up and childhood environment. The study was based on data from the Danish Twin Registry linked to administrative and heath registers in Statistics Denmark. A total of 11,968 monozygotic and 20,464 dizygotic same sexed twins were followed from 1980 to 2009, including more than 8000 events of CVD. Unpaired and intra-pair analyses were compared. In the unpaired analyses, an inverse educational gradient in CVD- and IHD risk was observed. This association was not replicated in the intra-pair analyses that control for shared familial factors exploiting that twins share their intrauterine- and childhood environment and are matched partly or fully on genetic setup. The attenuation of association of education with CVD and IHD in the intra-pair analyses suggests that shared familial factors account for a substantial part of the observed association of education with CVD and IHD in Denmark.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 04/2014; · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AimTo examine associations of DNA damage, cardiovascular risk factors, and physical performance with vitality, in middle aged men. We also sought to elucidate underlying factors of physical performance by comparing physical performance parameters to DNA damage parameters and cardiovascular risk factors.Methods We studied 2487 participants from the Metropolit Cohort of 11,532 men born in 1953 in the Copenhagen Metropolitan area. The vitality level was estimated using the SF-36 vitality scale. Cardiovascular risk factors were determined by body mass index (BMI) and hematological biochemistry tests obtained from non-fasting participants. DNA damage parameters were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from as many participants as possible from a representative subset of 207 participants.ResultsVitality was inversely associated with spontaneous DNA breaks (measured by comet assay) (P = 0.046) and BMI (P = 0.002), and positively associated with all of the physical performance parameters (all P < 0.001). Also, we found several associations between physical performance parameters and cardiovascular risk factors. In addition, the load of short telomeres was inversely associated with maximum jump force (P = 0.018), with lowered significance after exclusion of either arthritis sufferers (P = 0.035) or smokers (P = 0.031).Conclusion Here we show that self-reported vitality is associated with DNA breaks, BMI and objective (measured) physical performance in a cohort of middle aged men. Several other associations in this study verify clinical observations in medical practice. In addition, the load of short telomeres may be linked to peak performance in certain musculoskeletal activities.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Acta Physiologica 04/2014; · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cognitive abilities decline with age, but with considerable individual variation. The neurobiological correlate of this variation is not well described. Functional brain imaging studies have demonstrated reduced task-induced deactivation (TID) of the brain's default mode network (DMN) in a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases involving cognitive symptoms, in conditions with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, and even in advanced but healthy aging. Here, we investigated brain activation and deactivation during a visual-motor task in 185 clinically healthy males from a Danish birth cohort, whose cognitive function was assessed in youth and midlife. Using each individual as his own control, we defined a group with a large degree of cognitive decline, and a control group. When correcting for effects of total cerebral blood flow and hemoglobin level, we found reduced TID in the posterior region of the DMN in the cognitive decline group compared to the control group. Furthermore, increased visual activation response was found in the cognitive decline group, indicating that the TID reduction was not exclusively due to overall impaired vascular reactivity. These results suggest a neurobiological basis for subclinical cognitive decline in late midlife, which includes TID alterations similar to the pattern seen in patients with AD and mild cognitive impairment. Hence, TID reduction might be suggested as an early marker for subtle cognitive decline in aging. Hum Brain Mapp, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Human Brain Mapping 02/2014; · 6.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Social Inequality in Cancer (SIC) cohort study was established to determine pathways through which socioeconomic position affects morbidity and mortality, in particular common subtypes of cancer. Data from seven well-established cohort studies from Denmark were pooled. Combining these cohorts provided a unique opportunity to generate a large study population with long follow-up and sufficient statistical power to develop and apply new methods for quantification of the two basic mechanisms underlying social inequalities in cancer-mediation and interaction. The SIC cohort included 83 006 participants aged 20-98 years at baseline. A wide range of behavioural and biological risk factors such as smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol intake, hormone replacement therapy, body mass index, blood pressure and serum cholesterol were assessed by self-administered questionnaires, physical examinations and blood samples. All participants were followed up in nationwide demographic and healthcare registries. For those interested in collaboration, further details can be obtained by contacting the Steering Committee at the Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, at
    International Journal of Epidemiology 02/2014; 43(6). · 9.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the article is to analyze associations between sex, age, education, and social class and cognitive ability in late midlife and to evaluate differences in cognitive ability among the three Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank (CAMB) cohorts. The sample comprised 5,417 CAMB participants from three cohorts with scores on the Intelligenz-Struktur-Test 2000 R (I-S-T 2000 R). Independent associations of cognitive ability with age, sex, education, and occupational social class were observed. Particularly, strong associations with cognitive ability were obtained for school education, and consistent sex differences were observed with higher cognitive ability in men. Differences in cognitive ability among the three cohorts were small and primarily reflected demographic differences. Late-midlife cognitive ability is associated with a number of demographic factors, and demographic differences may contribute to individual differences in health and early aging. In analyses of cognitive ability, the three CAMB cohorts can be combined provided the relevant demographic variables are included as covariates.
    Journal of Aging and Health 02/2014; 26(1):37-53. · 1.56 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Aging and Health 02/2014; 26(1):5-20. · 1.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To analyze associations in late midlife between sex, age, education and social class, and the Big Five personality traits; to analyze associations between personality traits and cognitive ability in late midlife; and to evaluate how these associations are influenced by demographic factors. The study sample comprised 5,397 late midlife participants from three cohorts who had completed the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) and a measure of cognitive ability. Associations were demonstrated between the five NEO-FFI personality traits, and all included demographic factors. Cognitive ability and years of education correlated with several NEO-FFI personality traits in analyses adjusting for demographic variables. Cohort differences were observed for Extraversion and Openness. Robust sex, educational, and social class differences in personality may contribute to late midlife social gradients in health and early aging. Demographic factors did not fully explain correlations between personality and cognitive ability or cohort differences in personality.
    Journal of Aging and Health 02/2014; 26(1):21-36. · 1.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: Though about 20% of working age breast cancer survivors do not return to work after treatment, few studies have addressed risk factors for unemployment. The majority of studies on occupational consequences of breast cancer focus on non-employment, which is a mixture of sickness absence, unemployment, retirement pensions and other reasons for not working. Unemployment in combination with breast cancer may represent a particular challenge for these women. The aim of the present study is therefore to analyze the risk for unemployment in the years following diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. Method: This study included 14,750 women diagnosed with breast cancer in Denmark 2001-2009 identified through a population-based clinical database and linked with information from Danish administrative population based registers for information on labour market affiliation, socio-demography and co-morbid conditions. Multivariable analyses were performed by Cox's proportional hazard models. Results: Two years after treatment, 81% of patients were still part of the work force, 10% of which were unemployed. Increasing duration of unemployment before breast cancer was associated with an adjusted HR = 4.37 (95% CI: 3.90-4.90) for unemployment after breast cancer. Other risk factors for unemployment included low socioeconomic status and demography, while adjuvant therapy did not increase the risk of unemployment. Conclusions: Duration of unemployment before breast cancer was the most important determinant of unemployment after breast cancer treatment. This allows identification of a particularly vulnerable group of patients in need of rehabilitation.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 01/2014; · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last decades survival after acute coronary syndrome (ACS) has improved, leading to an increasing number of patients returning to work, but little is known about factors that may influence their labour market affiliation. This study examines the impact of gender, co-morbidity and socio-economic position on subsequent labour market affiliation and transition between various social services in patients admitted for the first time with ACS. From 2001 to 2009 all first-time hospitalisations for ACS were identified in the Danish National Patient Registry (n = 79,714). For this population, data on sick leave, unemployment and retirement were obtained from an administrative register covering all citizens. The 21,926 patients, aged 18-63 years, who had survived 30 days and were part of the workforce at the time of diagnosis were included in the analyses where subsequent transition between the above labour market states was examined using Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox proportional hazards models. A total of 37% of patients were in work 30 days after first ACS diagnosis, while 55% were on sick leave and 8% were unemployed. Seventy-nine per cent returned to work once during follow-up. This probability was highest among males, those below 50 years, living with a partner, the highest educated, with higher occupations, having specific events (NSTEMI, and percutaneous coronary intervention) and with no co-morbidity. During five years follow-up, 43% retired due to disability or voluntary early pension. Female gender, low education, basic occupation, co-morbidity and having a severer event (invasive procedures) and receiving sickness benefits or being unemployed 30 days after admission were associated with increased probability of early retirement. About half of patients with first-time ACS stay in or return to work shortly after the event. Women, the socially disadvantaged, those with presumed severer events and co-morbidity have lower rates of return.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e86758. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To explore the relationship between childhood socioeconomic position (SEP) and filling of medicine prescriptions for prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), with young adult intelligence (IQ) as a potential mediator. Birth cohort study with logistic and Cox-proportional hazard regression analyses of associations between childhood SEP, retrieved from birth certificates, and prevalence, initiation of and refill persistency for CVD preventive medicine. Denmark. 8736 Danish men born in 1953, who had no CVD at the start of follow-up in 1995, were followed in the Danish National Prescription Register for initiation of and refill persistency for antihypertensives and statins, until the end of 2007 (age 54 years). Low childhood SEP at age 18 was not associated with prescription fillings of antihypertensives, but was weakly associated with initiation of statins (HR = 1.19 (95% CI 1.00 to1.42)). This estimate was attenuated when IQ was entered into the model (HR=1.10 (95% CI 0.91 to 1.23)). Low childhood SEP was also associated with decreased refill persistency for statins (HR=2.23 (95% CI 1.13 to 4.40)). Thus, the HR for SEP only changed slightly (HR=2.24 (95% CI 1.11 to 4.52)) when IQ was entered into the model, but entering other covariates (education and body mass index in young adulthood and income in midlife) into the model attenuated the HR to 2.04 (95% CI 1.00 to 4.16). Low childhood SEP was related to more frequent initiation of and poorer refill persistency for statins. IQ in young adulthood explained most of the association between childhood SEP and initiation of statins, but had no impact on refill persistency.
    BMJ Open 01/2014; 4(1):e004178. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate trends in time to invasive examination and treatment for patient with first time diagnosis of non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) and unstable angina during the period from 2001 to 2009 in Denmark. From 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2009 all first time hospitalisations with NSTEMI and unstable angina were identified in the National Patient Registry (n=65 909). Time from admission to initiation of coronary angiography (CAG), percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) was calculated. We described the development in invasive examination and treatment probability (CAG, PCI and CABG at 3, 7, 10, 30 and 60 days) for the years 2001-2009, taking the competing risk of death into account using Aalen-Johansen estimators and a Fine-Gray model. Nationwide Danish cohort. The proportion of patients receiving a CAG and PCI increased substantially over time while the proportion receiving a CABG decreased for both NSTEMI and unstable angina. For both NSTEMI and unstable angina, a significant increase in invasive examination and treatment probability at 3 days for CAG and PCI were seen especially from 2007 through to 2009. For NSTEMI, the CAG examination probability at 3 days leaped from 20% in 2007 to 32% in 2008 and 39% in 2009, and for PCI the same was true with a leap in treatment probability from 19% to 28% from 2008 to 2009. In Denmark the use of CAG and PCI in treatment of NSTEMI and unstable angina has increased from 2001 to 2009, while the use of CABG has decreased. During the same period, there was a marked increase in invasive examination and treatment probability at 3 days, that is, more patients were treated faster which is in line with the political aim of reducing time to treatment.
    BMJ Open 01/2014; 4(1):e004052. · 2.06 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
816.63 Total Impact Points


  • 2006–2014
    • University of Southern Denmark
      • • Aging Research Center
      • • Institute of Public Health
      Odense, South Denmark, Denmark
  • 1998–2014
    • Glostrup Hospital
      • • Research Centre for Prevention and Health
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Medical Department C
      Glostrup, Capital Region, Denmark
    • Institut for Sygdomsforebyggelse
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 1993–2014
    • IT University of Copenhagen
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2013
    • Aarhus University Hospital
      Aarhus, Central Jutland, Denmark
  • 1995–2013
    • University of Copenhagen
      • • Section of Social Medicine
      • • Department of Public Health
      • • Department of Oral Medicine
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2012
    • Aarhus University
      • Danish Pain Research Center
      Aarhus, Central Jutland, Denmark
  • 2002–2008
    • National Institute of Public Health
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
    • National Institute of Public Health, Denmark
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2006–2007
    • Statens Serum Institut
      • Department of Epidemiology Research
      Copenhagen, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2003–2005
    • Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen University
      • Institute of Preventive Medicine
      Copenhagen, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 1998–2003
    • Copenhagen University Hospital
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 1997–2003
    • Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre
      Hvidovre, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 1996–1997
    • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1990–1992
    • Rigshospitalet
      • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      Copenhagen, Capital Region, Denmark
    • Royal Agricultural University
      Cicester, England, United Kingdom