The Linnaeus database

The Linnaeus Database is a unique research resource. It links information from four existing databases, and enables researchers to see new connections between health, lifestyle and ageing.

In 2006 the Ageing and Living Conditions Research Programme (ALC) received a so-called Linneaus Grant from the Swedish Research Council, in order to conduct research about the aging population’s living conditions.

The questions the research programme wanted to investigate required new and larger datafiles, bigger than any existing databases could provide. Using information from four different sources – Betula, The Västerbotten Intervention Programme (VIP), Statistics Sweden and The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare – a new research resource, that has been named The Linnaeus Database, was created.

What are these different sources and what information do they contain? Find out below!


Is a research project and a database at the Department of Psychology at Umeå University.

Since the 80s, the Betula project has examined the cognitive functions of 4 200 randomly chosen participants living in Umeå. Among other things, the participants do memory tests and answer questions about their health and family situation. Since these participants are tested every five years, the project can follow development of memory and health over time. One of the purposes is to detect early signs of dementia.
Read more about Betula


The Västerbotten Intervention Programme (VIP) is a project and a database owned by the Västerbotten County Council.

The VIP database started in 1985 to counteract the high prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the county of Västerbotten. Up until 2006, about 106 000 health checks had been performed among the local population at the time that they reached 40, 50 and 60 years old. The health checks includes fitness-, nutrition-, and medical tests. Participants may also fill out a questionnaire about lifestyle, work and family etcetera.
Read more about VIP

Statistics Sweden

Provides records of i.a. income, education, family and work, and includes the entire Swedish population. Selected parts of this information is connected to the Linnaeus database. For instance the Longitudinal integration databae for health insurance and labour market studies (LISA). 
Read more about LISA and Statistics Sweden

The National Board of Health and Welfare

Keeps records of all causes of death in Sweden, as well as when and why people have been in contact with health care. This information is connected to the Linnaeus database.
Read more about The National Board of Health and Welfare

For privacy reasons, the Linnaeus database contains no information that could be linked to individuals' identities. The data is contained within a closed computer system at a locked department at Umeå University, to which only authorized personnel have access.

Page Editor: Nina Brynefall

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Contact information

Gunnar Malmberg
Deputy director, CEDAR Research
Phone: +46 90 786 54 95