Skip to main content

Karin Modig

Senior researcher

Department and organisational affiliation:

About me

I finished my PhD at the Department of Public Health, Karolinska Institutet in Sep 2010. I did my postdoc at IMM and is currently a research group leader and an Associate Professor at the division of Epidemiology at IMM. My research concerns the ageing population, the driving force of longevity and the consequences of it. I am also interested in cognitive epidemiology, how cognition is associated with health and the underlying mechanisms of such associations. I have worked for many years with the national population registers in Sweden and have an interest in the validity of these. I am a member of the steering group for SINGS (The Swedish INterdisciplinary Graduate School in Register-Based Research) and lecture about epidemiological methods and register based research both at graduate and post graduate level.

Research description

The ageing population - An epidemiologic approach to a fundamental public health issue.

This research project has three main themes. These are

Longevity - what is driving the increase in life expectancy and how old can we expect to become?

Has the extended lifespan been comprised with healthy or unhealthy years?

Societal implications of an ageing population - what can be expected for the future­?


The first theme investigates to what extent the reduction in old age mortality is due to a delayed onset of diseases, to a higher survival rate or a longer survival time among those with disease? It also deals with the question about for how long we can expect to live in the future. The second theme investigates how healthy and unhealthy life expectancy has developed over time for the old age population in Sweden and deals with intriguing questions such as how to define healthy and unhealthy years and when in life one should measure this. As for the third theme, the core of this question is whether it is reasonable to assume that age specific health will remain unchanged over time, despite the decrease in age specific mortality rates, or whether it is more likely to assume that age-specific disease rates will decrease in parallel with decreasing mortality rates? This question is of utmost importance for society because it affects health care demands and retirement age. Another approach to this is to look at whether disease risks can decline enough in order to counterbalance the burden on the health care sector in the future. To be able to answer this, not only the shift in onset of diseases can be looked at but also rate of recurrence and changes in survival.  




Familjen Kamprads Stiftelse

SFO Vård Karolinska Institutet

Åke Wibergs Stiftelse



Max Planck Institute of Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany

Aging Research Center (ARC) Stockholm University

Umeå University  


MSc, Stockholm University 2002 (Economics)

PhD, Karolinska Institutet Sep 2010 (Epidemiology)

Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Docent), Karolinska Institutet  Feb 2015

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Appointed guest researcher at Max Planck Institute for Demographic Reaserch, Rostock, germany. Research Group on Mathematical and Actuarial Demography headed by Professor Roland Rau. 

Nominated by KI as a candidate for Pro Futura. Selecetd by the international evaluation committee to the second round and received a  research grant from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond of 1 million Swedish kronor. 

Loading bibliometrics...