What is SIMPLER?

SIMPLER stands for Swedish Infrastructure for Medical Population-Based Life-Course and Environmental Research.

The foundation for the infrastructure was laid in year 1987 when the Swedish National Food Agency together with the county councils in Uppsala and Västmanland started when a food frequency questionnaire was sent to a group of women, the Swedish Mammography Cohort. The infrastructure was hosted by Uppsala University between the years 1987 and 1997, in year 1997 the Karolinska Institute took over being the host, and from year 2018 Uppsala University is once again the host for the infrastructure. During the years, the collection of material has extended to include a males, and biological samples.

The Swedish Mammography Cohort, SMC, consists of women born between the years 1914 and 1948 in Västmanland and Uppland county invited to participate in the cohort in connection to the first mammography screening. The Cohort of Swedish Men, COSM, were selected from the population register and were sent the first food frequency questionnaire in year 1997. COSM consist of men born between the years 1914 and 1952 in Västmanland and Örebro counties. At start there were approximately 110,000 persons in both cohorts with approximately 52,000 participants left today. Biological samples have been collected from sobcohorts of SMC from year 2004 to 2012, and of COSM from year 2010. The clinical subcohorts consist of approximately 6,500 women and 6,000 men. A second round of clinical examinations of the women was started in year 2013, something that is planned to autumn 2019 for men. The biobank consist of samples of blood, urine, faeces and fat tissue, from the clinical subcohorts. In addition, saliva samples from 32,000 women and 7,000 men have also been collected. In total there are over 400,000 samples in the biobank.

Questionnaire data and biological samples are supplemented with register data from the national Board of Health and Welfare and from regional and local registers. Work on developing the infrastructure further with genomic data, metabolomic data and proteomic data is ongoging.