In English: Information about the research

Utilisation of population register data and genetic data in research on intergenerational welfare and health inequalities (INVEST Full Population Data)

Duration of the research project: 2020–2028

Research leader, PI: Pasi Moisio, Research Professor, THL

The aim of this data-based research is to improve the socio-economic and health-related well-being of Finnish children, young people and young adults as well as to increase the equality not only as citizens but also as users of the services provided by society. The study, which covers the entire population of Finland, will benefit the entire population of Finland. The research data used makes the project unique. It provides new and completely exceptional information about the intergenerational importance of social and biological factors over the research subjects’ life cycle and in changing institutional and historical circumstances. From the scientific perspective, the project is exceptionally significant, and no similar data source can be found elsewhere, not even in other Nordic countries. It offers a very rare opportunity to conduct a groundbreaking social science research project.

Population register and genetic data are used to study socio-economic and health inequalities in childhood, youth and early adulthood, focusing on intergenerational transitions and changes in living conditions at different stages of the research subjects’ life cycle. We study mechanisms that connect the socio-economic positions and health factors of parents and children, how and when genetic factors and becoming selected in different social environments are linked to the social and economic integration, and how these lead to changes in social inequalities. We also study how the institutions and services of a welfare state can influence these mechanisms and processes, especially during historical crises and exceptional situations.

The project utilises population register and genetic data, which will be combined into unique data sets. The genetic data are obtained from the following data sets: FINRISK 1992–2012, Health 2000/2011 and FinHealth 2017. The register data to be combined and the calculation of risk points are described here.

The four work packages of the project and their leaders are:

Work package 1: Interaction between social environment and genes in intergenerational inequalities
Jani Erola (UTU), Pasi Moisio (THL)

Work package 2: Temporal changes in health inequalities and sociobiological developments
Maria Vaalavuo (THL), Sakari Karvonen (THL)

Work package 3: Developments of well-being in a changing welfare state
Outi Sirniö (THL), Elina Kilpi-Jakonen (UTU)

Work package 4: Social crises and new inequalities
David Gyllenberg (UTU)