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Leif Groop

Leif Groop

Principal investigator

Leif Groop

Cohort profile : Epigenetics in Pregnancy (EPIPREG) - population-based sample of European and South Asian pregnant women with epigenome-wide DNA methylation (850k) in peripheral blood leukocytes


  • Nicolas Fragoso-Bargas
  • Julia O Opsahl
  • Nadezhda Kiryushchenko
  • Yvonne Böttcher
  • Sindre Lee-Ødegård
  • Elisabeth Qvigstad
  • Kåre Rønn Richardsen
  • Christin W Waage
  • Line Sletner
  • Anne Karen Jenum
  • Rashmi B Prasad
  • Leif C Groop
  • Gunn-Helen Moen
  • Kåre I Birkeland
  • Christine Sommer

Summary, in English

Pregnancy is a valuable model to study the association between DNA methylation and several cardiometabolic traits, due to its direct potential to influence mother's and child's health. Epigenetics in Pregnancy (EPIPREG) is a population-based sample with the aim to study associations between DNA-methylation in pregnancy and cardiometabolic traits in South Asian and European pregnant women and their offspring. This cohort profile paper aims to present our sample with genetic and epigenetic data and invite researchers with similar cohorts to collaborative projects, such as replication of ours or their results and meta-analysis. In EPIPREG we have quantified epigenome-wide DNA methylation in maternal peripheral blood leukocytes in gestational week 28±1 in Europeans (n = 312) and South Asians (n = 168) that participated in the population-based cohort STORK Groruddalen, in Norway. DNA methylation was measured with Infinium MethylationEPIC BeadChip (850k sites), with technical validation of four CpG sites using bisulphite pyrosequencing in a subset (n = 30). The sample is well characterized with few missing data on e.g. genotype, universal screening for gestational diabetes, objectively measured physical activity, bioelectrical impedance, anthropometrics, biochemical measurements, and a biobank with maternal serum and plasma, urine, placenta tissue. In the offspring, we have repeated ultrasounds during pregnancy, cord blood, and anthropometrics up to 4 years of age. We have quantified DNA methylation in peripheral blood leukocytes in nearly all eligible women from the STORK Groruddalen study, to minimize the risk of selection bias. Genetic principal components distinctly separated Europeans and South Asian women, which fully corresponded with the self-reported ethnicity. Technical validation of 4 CpG sites from the methylation bead chip showed good agreement with bisulfite pyrosequencing. We plan to study associations between DNA methylation and cardiometabolic traits and outcomes.


  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden

Publishing year












Document type

Journal article


Public Library of Science (PLoS)


  • Medical Genetics



Research group

  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology


  • ISSN: 1932-6203