Existing Data Sources in Clinical Epidemiology: Laboratory Information System Databases in Denmark

Clin Epidemiol. 2020 May 18;12:469-475. doi: 10.2147/CLEP.S245060. eCollection 2020.


Routine biomarker results from hospital laboratory information systems, covering hospitals and general practitioners, in Denmark are available to researchers through access to the regional Clinical Laboratory Information System Research Database at Aarhus University and the nationwide Register of Laboratory Results for Research. This review describes these two data sources. The laboratory databases have different geographical and temporal coverage. They both include individual-level biomarker results that are electronically transferred from laboratory information systems. The biomarker results can be linked to all other Danish registries at the individual level, using the unique identifier, the CPR number. The databases include variables such as the CPR number, date and time (hour and minute) of sampling, NPU code, and name of the biomarker, identification code for the laboratory and the requisitioner, the test result with the corresponding unit, and the lower and upper reference limits. Access to the two databases differs since they are hosted by two different institutions. Data cannot be transferred outside Denmark, and direct access is provided only to Danish institutions. It is concluded that access to data on routine biomarkers expands the detailed biological and clinical information available on patients in the Danish healthcare system. The full potential is enabled through linkage to other Danish healthcare registries.

Keywords: biomarkers; data resource; database; laboratory information systems.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

JFHA has received a lecture fee on one occasion from Siemens Healthineers, Denmark, and a lecture on one occasion from Teva Denmark A/S within the last 36 months. The Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, receives funding for other studies from companies in the form of research grants to (and administered by) Aarhus University. None of these studies have any relation to the present study.