In this time of the coronavirus pandemic, studies on lung health and risk factors in the general population are of particular importance. The RHINESSA study can contribute with valuable understanding of vulnerability to the coronavirus disease, the role of respiratory health and allergies and of our immune system.

RHINESSA is an international research project that studies asthma, allergies and lung health across generations and throughout a person’s lifespan.
RHINESSA aims to understand how our lifestyle and environment influence the health and disease of our children and grandchildren. Our multi-generation data is helping us identify particular ages of susceptibility, which may be important in ultimately improving health for several generations. 

RHINESSA investigates the children and parents of participants in the large international studies RHINE and ECRHS. These studies have investigated lung health, allergies and associated diseases in persons followed over 20 years. 

More about RHINESSA 

RHINESSA includes ten study centres from 7 countries: Aarhus, Denmark; Albacete and Huelva, Spain; Bergen, Norway; Gothenburg, Umeå and Uppsala, Sweden; Melbourne, Australia; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Tartu, Estonia.

RHINESSA aims to identify determinants for health and disease that operate before conception and throughout the life-span, as well as the mechanisms involved.

  • We investigate how lifestyle, environment and behaviours of previous generations directly affect the health and disease of our children today.
  • This helps us identify susceptible time windows in which interventions could be particularly efficient for ourselves, our offspring and future generations. 
RHINESSA focuses mainly on asthma, eczema, allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung function and sleep disorders, with a specific focus on the importance of sex differences.
The cohort resource and research methodologies of RHINESSA can also be utilised for multi-generation research in other important public health areas, such as women’s health and overweight. We interact with global health researchers to facilitate the use of our research methodologies and results in the global community. We use an interdisciplinary approach, integrating epidemiological with mechanistic methods.

Examples of areas addressed in RHINESSA

- how various factors influence respiratory and allergic diseases, throughout the life-span and across generations

  • air pollution, greenness and sunshine
  • occupational environment
  • cleaning agents, disinfectants and personal care products
  • urban vs.rural environment during upbringing
  • reproductive/hormonal/metabolic factors in men and women
  • oral and environmental microbiomes
  • helminths and tuberculosis
  • oral health, periodontitis, other diseases
- epigenetic mechanisms for transfer of environmental effects across generations
- how pregnancy, hormones and menopause influence women's respiratory health
- how asthma, allergies, lung function and COPD are inherited across generation
- how research involving historical data can help reveal determinants for allergies, in particular relating to the emergence of the welfare society during the last century

RHINESSA and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

RHINESSA aims to contribute to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, SDG #3 to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, SDG #5 to promote gender equality, and #11 to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.  
  • SDG 3.4: By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being
  • SDG 3.7: By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes
  • SDG 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all
  • SDG 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
  • SDG 11.6: By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality, municipal and other waste management.
  • SDG 11.7: by 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, particularly for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities.


Information about publications


Bilde av avdelingen

Data usage 

Questionnaire forms (English versions) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Go to the forms Go to the SOP



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