Existing Data Sources in Clinical Epidemiology: The Danish COVID-19 Cohort

Clin Epidemiol. 2020 Aug 12;12:875-881. doi: 10.2147/CLEP.S257519. eCollection 2020.


Background: To facilitate research on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a prospective cohort of all Danish residents tested for SARS-CoV-2 in Denmark is established.

Data structure: All Danish residents tested by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR) for SARS-CoV-2 in Denmark are included. The cohort is identified using the Danish Microbiology Database. Individual-level record linkage between administrative and health-care registries is facilitated by the Danish Civil Registration System. Information on outcomes related to SARS-CoV-2 infection includes hospital admission, intensive care unit admission, mechanical ventilation, and death and is retrieved from the five administrative Danish regions, the Danish National Patient Registry, and the Danish Register of Causes of Death. The Patient Registry further provides a complete hospital contact history of somatic and psychiatric conditions and procedures. Data on all prescriptions filled at community pharmacies are available from the Danish National Prescription Registry. Health-care authorization status is obtained from the Danish Register of Healthcare Professionals. Finally, selected laboratory values are obtained from the Register of Laboratory Results for Research. The cohort is governed by a steering committee with representatives from the Danish Medicines Agency, Statens Serum Institut, the Danish Health Authority, the Danish Health Data Authority, Danish Patients, the Faculties of Health Sciences at the Danish universities, and Danish regions. The steering committee welcomes suggestions for research studies and collaborations. Research proposals will be prioritized based on timeliness and potential clinical and public health implications. All research protocols assessing specific hypotheses for medicines will be made publicly available using the European Union electronic Register of Post-Authorisation Studies.

Conclusion: The Danish COVID-19 cohort includes all Danish residents with an RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2. Through individual-level linkage with existing Danish health and administrative registries, this is a valuable data source for epidemiological research on SARS-CoV-2.

Keywords: Covid-19; SARS-CoV-2; database; epidemiology; follow-up; prognosis; prospective cohort.

Grant support

There is no external funding to report for this study.