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OLIN - The Obstructive Lung Disease in Northern Sweden studies

Research group OLIN is an epidemiological research program about asthma, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We perform classical epidemiological studies and the methods used include cross-sectional, longitudinal, case-control and clinical studies mainly of general population samples. In total, seven adult cohorts and three paediatric cohorts have been recruited. Around 50,000 individuals have participated, the youngest are aged 7 years and there is no upper age limit.

OLIN is an epidemiological research program about asthma, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which has generated more than 200 original and review articles.

The research is conducted along the following lines of research:

  1. Asthma and allergies among adults
  2. Asthma and allergies among children
  3. COPD

The overall aim of the OLIN studies is to prevent obstructive lung diseases. In order to achieve this aim, our research is focused on the following aspects:

  • Prevalence and incidence of asthma, COPD and other obstructive lung diseases and symptoms of the respiratory tract
  • The natural course of diseases, i.e. the development, involving both deterioration and improvement, and the causes of these
  • The effects of early life factors, life style factors, living conditions, as well as various environmental and occupational exposures
  • Consequences of the diseases measured as e.g. health care consumption, health-related quality of life and health economic costs for the individual and the society.

The research started in 1985 has since then developed from being one research project into a comprehensive range of activities, with links to research groups in several European countries, the U.S.A., Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

The team is multidisciplinary and includes physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, statisticians, behavioural scientists. We perform large epidemiological studies, both through questionnaire surveys and detailed clinical examinations including lung function measurements, bronchial provocation tests, measurement of fraction of exhaled nitric oxide, height and weight, body composition through bioelectric impedance and various biological and blood samples, including inflammatory markers, allergy testing with specific IgE, and skin prick tests. Our data has also been linked to information from national registers maintained by Statistics Sweden (SCB), Socialstyrelsen and Försäkringskassan.

The OLIN Steering committee consists of researchers with extensive knowledge in respiratory epidemiology. Ass. Prof. Linnea Hedman, Behavioural Scientist, is Head of OLIN and also project leader for the research line Asthma and allergy among children. Ass. Prof. Helena Backman, Statistician, is project leader for the research line about Asthma and allergy among adults. Prof. Anne Lindberg, MD,  is project leader for the COPD research line. Ass. Prof. Caroline Stridsman, Specialized nurse, is researcher within OLIN and also register holder for the Swedish National Airway Register. Senior Prof. Eva Rönmark, Specialized nurse, is researcher within OLIN and previous Head of OLIN.

Head of research

Linnea Hedman
Adjunct associate professor


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Latest update: 2023-01-24