Epidemiological Research with National Danish Registers

Understanding the Determinants of Multiple Adverse Outcomes in Young People

While the predictors of suicidal behaviour and violence in young people have been frequently studied, the determinants of serious accidents have been reported far less often in the mental health, child health, or public health literature. This represents an important gap in the available evidence as major accidents occur more often in young people than suicide or serious violence. These adverse outcomes are strongly correlated. People who experience these outcomes may have shared characteristics such as impulsivity and emotional dysregulation.


The purpose of this research programme, which began in 2014, is to investigate and compare the aetiological profiles of young people who experience multiple adverse outcomes, including:

  • Suicidal behaviour
  • Violent criminal offending
  • Unnatural premature death
  • Serious accidents
  • Substance misuse
  • Other types of risky behaviour such as driving recklessly or whilst intoxicated

Using internationally renowned national Danish registers provides a unique opportunity to examine these multiple outcomes together within the same cohort. We shall assess a broad array of risk factors from a life course perspective, by identifying critical periods of exposure to adversity during the perinatal period, infancy, childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. Familial factors such as parental psychiatric disorders and suicidal behaviour, as well as socio-demographic factors including frequent change of address and family composition, size and structure, will also be investigated.

To better understand the contribution made by specific environmental risk factors, as opposed to unmeasured genetic and environmental familial confounders, sibling comparison studies will also be conducted.

Multiple Adverse Outcomes Following Recent Discharge from Inpatient Psychiatric Care

It is important that clinicians, public health professionals and academics gain a deeper understanding of the multiple vulnerabilities and risks faced by people recently discharged from psychiatric inpatient care. Again using interlinked national Danish registers, we are investigating the determinants of multiple adverse outcomes in this group of people.

Research Team

The programme is led by Dr Roger Webb at the Centre for Mental Health and Risk, University of Manchester. The research is conducted in conjunction with Professors Carsten Pedersen and Preben Mortensen at the National Centre for Register-based Research (NCRR), University of Aarhus. Other key team members include Dr Pearl Mok and PhD student Florian Walter (Centre for Mental Health and Risk, University of Manchester) and Sussie Antonsen (NCRR, University of Aarhus).

Further information

For further information about this research programme, please contact Dr Roger Webb