Cecilie Svanes's picture

Cecilie Svanes

Professor, Centre for International Health
  • E-mailCecilie.Svanes@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 83 72
  • Visitor Address
    Overlege Danielssens hus, 5 floor, Årstadveien 21
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7804
    5020 Bergen

Cecilie Svanes, MD PhD, shares her time between her clinical and research activity. She is a Professor at the Centre for International Health (CIH), University of Bergen (UiB), and a Consultant in Pulmonary Medicine at the Department of Occupational Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital.

Her current research interests mainly focus on the fields of preconception and early life origins of respiratory health and disease.

Svanes conceived and currently leads the RHINESSA multi-generation study, which involves an international transdisciplinary research network on multi-generation research. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the European Community Respiratory Health Study (ECRHS), and leads the work on early life and multi-generation origins in both this and the affiliated RHINE study.

See her project descriptions for more information.

Svanes’ research results are disseminated widely, in scientific articles, textbooks of medicine and the media, and have contributed to scientific paradigm shifts, to impacting practice and guiding current health care policies (learn more: in English   in Norwegian). Svanes has published numerous much cited publications in high-impact journals. Her most important scientific contribution concerns the early life origins of adult asthma, allergy and lung function. Her current focus is on preconception and transgenerational origins of allergies and lung health. Read more.

She is further involved with World University Network WUN and inVIVO Planetary Health.

Cecilie Svanes’ scientific work has been ground-breaking on many different fronts. She has numerous research results that are relevant for people’s every-day and long-term health. These have been widely disseminated through both scientific and popular media (see below for some popular media examples). 

She was awarded the Faculty of Medicine’s award for excellent research dissemination and engagement in sharing science in 2019 for her work in disseminating her research results. Learn a little more.

Her research on the preconception origins of asthma, allergies and lung health has been covered in the media worldwide.

Autumn 2020. Svanes and others began work on a project to study whether COVID-19 affects male germ cells, and therefore immunity in a father's offspring. (read about the study from VG in Norwegian, more from BT in Norwegian )

In 2018, she presented new research results on deteriorating lung health in cleaners in a meeting at the UK Parliament, with health and safety executives, trade union leaders and parliament members. She also met with industry leaders and scientists in the cleaning industry at the annual seminal meeting “Cleaning Europe”, where she presented her research results.

Svanes’ work on the metabolic aspects of women’s lung health and early life origins of adult lung health also received widespread media coverage.  

Early in her career, CNN news and other new news channels covered her first results on the early life origins of asthma - a concept that was in its infancy in 1998.

Read about her work preventing prolific diseases.


See Related Content below for news articles from UiB / CIH / CISMAC News

Some highlights from the popular press around the world:


Cecilie Svanes is currently teaching mainly epidemiology at the Centre for International Health. She has previously taught respiratory medicine and allergology.


She has broad experience supervising and mentoring early career researchers. A number of researchers Svanes has supervised earlier are leaders in science or health care today.

Meet her current PhD candidates:

  • PhD candidate Gerd Toril Mørkve Knudsen is in the final stage of her thesis, concerning father’s smoking before conception as related to offspring DNA methylation, obesity and sex steroid hormones.
  • Øistein Svanes is finalizing his PhD thesis investigating exposure to cleaning agents and disinfectants in relation to asthma and lung function decline, susceptibility to such exposure early in life, and offspring effects of mother’s occupational exposure.
  • Ingrid Kuiper defended her PhD thesis about air pollution exposure in childhood and adolescence and associations with personal adult lung health and with offsprings’ asthma and allergies in December 2020.
  • Nils Oskar Jögi is working with a PhD thesis on helminth exposure as related to asthma, allergies and lung function, with some focus on associations with offspring allergies.
  • Hilde Vindenes’s PhD work explore chemical exposures and microbiome in relation to eczema and allergies.
  • Signe Timm in Århus defended her PhD thesis on multi-generation aspects of farm upbringing, including reporting, selective migration, and relation to asthma and allergies over generations, January 2021. Read more on ResearchGate and LinkedIn.
  • Juan Pablo is working in a hospital-based recruitment researcher position, while working on getting a PhD grant. 

Many of Cecilie Svanes publications are Open Access, and her updated publication record can be found at:


10 Selected Publications:

The preconception origins of lung health and disease

  1. Being overweight in childhood, puberty, or early adulthood: Changing asthma risk in the next generation? Johannessen A, Lønnebotn M, Calciano L, Benediktsdóttir B, Bertelsen RJ, Bråbäck L, Dharmage S, Franklin KA, Gislason T, Holm M, Janson C, Jarvis D, Jõgi R, Kim JL, Kirkeleit J, Lodge C, Malinovschi A, Martinez-Moratalla J, Nilsen RM, Pereira-Vega A, Real FG, Schlünssen V, Accordini S, Svanes C. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019 Sep 7. pii: S0091-6749(19)31172-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2019.08.030.

This paper demonstrated that fathers who were overweight puberty (but not if they became overweight after puberty) were  more likely to cause asthma in their future offspring. Published with editorial. Altmetric score: 76, attention 96 percentile.

  1. A three-generation study on the association of tobacco smoking with asthma. Accordini S, Calciano  L, Johannessen  A, Portas  L, Benediktsdóttir  B, Bertelsen  RJ, Bråbäck  L,  Carsin  AE, Dharmage  SC, Dratva  J, Forsberg B, Gomez Real  F, Heinrich  J, Holloway  JW, Holm  M, Janson C, Jögi R, Leynaert B, Malinovschi A, Marcon A, Martínez-Moratalla Rovira J, Raherison C, Sánchez-Ramos JL, Schlünssen V, Bono R, Corsico  AG, Demoly  P, Dorado Arenas S, Nowak D, Pin  I, Weyler  J, Jarvis  D, Svanes C. Int J Epidemiol. 2018 Aug 1;47(4):1106-1117.

This paper demonstrated that fathers who started smoking before age 15 years are more likely to have children with asthma. It was published with an editorial. Cited: 39.

  1. Father's environment before conception and asthma risk in his children. Svanes C*, Koplin J*, Skulstad SM, Johannessen A, Bertelsen RJ, Benediktsdottir B, Bräback L, Carsin AE, Dharmage S, Dratva J, Forsberg B, Gislason T, Heinrich J, Holm M, Janson C, Jarvis D, Jögi R, Krauss-Etschmann S, Lindberg E, Macsali F, Malinovski A, Modig L, Norbäck D, Omenaas E, Saure EW, Sigsgaard T, Skorge TD, Svanes Ø, Torén K, Schlünssen V, Real FG.  Int J Epidemiol. 2017 Feb 1;46(1):235-245. Published with editorial.

This is a seminal paper. It was the first research to uncover that a father’s environment years and decades before the conception of his future children was associated with much higher asthma risk in these future offspring. The paper also was a first to identify that a father’s puberty period is important for his offspring’s development of asthma. The paper identified 2 critical factors: fathers who started smoking before age 15 years, and fathers whose occupation involved welding. Cited: 35. This paper has also been presented more than 600 times is popular media around the world, including TIME magazine.


Cleaning at work and at home, and harmful influences on the lungs

  1. Cleaning at Home and at Work in Relation to Lung Function Decline and Airway Obstruction. Svanes Ø, Bertelsen RJ, Lygre SHL, Carsin AE, Antó JM, Forsberg B, García-García JM, Gullón JA, Heinrich J, Holm M, Kogevinas M, Urrutia I, Leynaert B, Moratalla JM, Le Moual N, Lytras T, Norbäck D, Nowak D, Olivieri M, Pin I, Probst-Hensch N, Schlünssen V, Sigsgaard T, Skorge TD, Villani S, Jarvis D, Zock JP, Svanes C.. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018 May 1;197(9):1157-1163. 

This research demonstrated accelerated lung function decline in women in relation to cleaning at home or at work. Combined with other studies providing increasing evidence of harmful effects of cleaning agents, in particular when used as sprays, this paper attracted sufficient public notice to result in altered government policies and changes in the cleaning industry, specifically to develop cleaning spray nozzle heads that could deliver larger droplets that will not reach the smaller airways. Citations: 32. Altmetric score: 847, attention 99 percentile.


The early life origins of adult lung health and disease

  1. Childhood predictors of lung function trajectories and future COPD risk: a prospective cohort study from the first to the sixth decade of life. Bui DS, Lodge CJ, Burgess JA, Lowe AJ, Perret J, Bui MQ, Bowatte G, Gurrin L, Johns DP, Thompson BR, Hamilton GS, Frith PA, James AL, Thomas PS, Jarvis D, Svanes C, Russell M, Morrison SC, Feather I, Allen KJ, Wood-Baker R, Hopper J, Giles GG, Abramson MJ, Walters EH, Matheson MC, Dharmage SC. Lancet Respir Med. 2018 Jul;6(7):535-544. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(18)30100-0. Epub 2018 Apr 5. PMID: 29628376

This paper shows the early life origins of adult respiratory health and disease in a longitudinal analysis of a Tasmanian cohort. Citations: 145.

  1. Early Life Origins of Lung Ageing: Early Life Exposures and Lung Function Decline in Adulthood in Two European Cohorts Aged 28-73 Years. Dratva J, Zemp E, Dharmage SC, Accordini S, Burdet L, Gislason T, Heinrich J, Janson C, Jarvis D, de Marco R, Norbäck D, Pons M, Real FG, Sunyer J, Villani S, Probst-Hensch N, Svanes C. PLoS One. 2016 Jan 26;11(1):e0145127. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145127. eCollection 2016.PMID: 26811913.

These research results demonstrated accelerated lung function decline in persons with early life disadvantage factors. Citations: 25. Altmetric score: 132, attention 98 percentile. It has also been cited in WHO policy document.

  1. Early life origins of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Svanes C, Sunyer J, Plana E, Dharmage S, Heinrich J, Jarvis D, Demarco R, Norback D, Raherison C, Villani S, Wjst M, Svanes K, Anto J. Thorax. 2010 Jan; 65(1):14-20. Published with editorial Thorax 2010;65:1-2.

These research results demonstrated that early life disadvantage is as important as smoking for adult lung function, lung function decline and COPD. Citations: 414. It was also cited in US National Action Plan policy document.

  1. Birth characteristics and asthma symptoms in young adults: results from a population-based cohort study in Norway. Svanes C, Omenaas E, Heuch JM, Irgens LM, Gulsvik A. Eur Respir J. 1998 Dec;12(6):1366-70. doi: 10.1183/09031936.98.12061366. PMID: 9877492

The presentation of this paper at the American Thoracic Society congress in 1997 resulted in extensive press coverage. While today the early life origins of health and disease is generally accepted and implemented in mother and child care programs across the world, this seminal paper was the start of a major scientific effort to learn more about how adult lung health and disease originates early in life.


The “hygiene hypothesis”

  1. Childhood environment and adult atopy: results from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey.  Svanes C, Jarvis D, Chinn S, Burney P. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1999 Mar;103(3 Pt 1):415-20. doi: 10.1016/s0091-6749(99)70465-3. PMID: 10069874. Cited 302 (GS).

This paper contributed to a paradigm shift in the understanding of the relationship between pets and allergies. Pets had previously been considered to cause allergies in children. This research showed that pets are not a primary cause of allergies although they may worsen allergies in those with specific pet allergies. It may be that children who have pets during childhood may have improved protection against allergies.


PhD work: Peptic ulcer perforation

  1. Trends in Perforated Peptic Ulcer: Incidence, Etiology, Treatment, and Prognosis. Svanes, C. World J. Surg. 24, 277–283 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s002689910045.

This paper summarizes my PhD work on peptic ulcer perforation. In total I published my results in 14 original papers as well as a couple of review papers. This PhD work is cited in >10 surgical textbooks, and this particular review is cited 353 times (GS).


List of all Publications (taken from CRIStin)

  • Show author(s) (2024). Longitudinal analysis of the skin microbiome in association with hand eczema, hand hygiene practices and moisturizer use. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.
  • Show author(s) (2024). Gastroesophageal reflux and snoring are related to asthma and respiratory symptoms: Results from a Nordic longitudinal population survey. Respiratory Medicine.
  • Show author(s) (2024). Gas cooking indoors and respiratory symptoms in the ECRHS cohort. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Validation of the 2012 Global Lung Initiative spirometry prediction equations in an East African Country.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Spirometric patterns in young and middle-aged adults: A 20-year European study. Thorax. 153-172.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Previous tuberculosis infection associated with increased frequency of asthma and respiratory symptoms in a Nordic–Baltic multicentre population study. European Respiratory Journal Open Research (ERJ Open Research). 8 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Prevalence and risk factors for asthma among adults in an East African country.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Preconception origins of asthma, allergies and lung function: The influence of previous generations on the respiratory health of our children. Journal of Internal Medicine. 531-549.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Oral bacterial composition associated with lung function and lung inflammation in a community-based Norwegian population. Respiratory Research.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Maternal and paternal tuberculosis is associated with increased asthma and respiratory symptoms in their offspring: a study from Northern Europe. Frontiers in Allergy.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Influence of farm environment on asthma during the life course: A population-based birth cohort study in northern Finland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH). 1-11.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Inflammatory bowel disease and asthma. Results from the RHINE study. Respiratory Medicine.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Indoor Airborne Microbiome and Endotoxin: Meteorological Events and Occupant Characteristics Are Important Determinants. Environmental Science and Technology. 11750-11766.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Genetic and Epigenetic Associations with Pre-Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Lung Function Trajectories. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 1135-1137.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Fathers’ preconception smoking and offspring DNA methylation. Clinical Epigenetics.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Early life exposures contributing to accelerated lung function decline in adulthood – a follow-up study of 11,000 adults from the general population. EClinicalMedicine.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Asthma and asthma-like symptoms as associated with endometriosis and menstrual pain. European Respiratory Journal.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Association between lipid-A-producing oral bacteria of different potency and fractional exhaled nitric oxide in a Norwegian population-based adult cohort. Journal of Translational Medicine. 11 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2022). The role of epigenetics in multi-generational transmission of asthma: An NIAID workshop report-based narrative review. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 1264-1275.
  • Show author(s) (2022). The epidemiology of breathlessness. ERS Monograph. 1-14.
  • Show author(s) (2022). The effect of farming environment on asthma; time dependent or universal? European Journal of Epidemiology (EJE). 779-788.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Pre-pubertal smoke exposure of fathers and increased risk of offspring asthma: a possible transgenerational effect. European Respiratory Journal.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Parental preconception BMI trajectories from childhood to adolescence and asthma in the future offspring. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Parental TB associated with offspring asthma and rhinitis. The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. 544-549.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Parental Prepuberty Overweight and Offspring Lung Function. Nutrients.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Health-related quality of life as associated with asthma control, psychological status and insomnia. Uppsala Journal of Medical Sciences.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Exposure to Antibacterial Chemicals Is Associated With Altered Composition of Oral Microbiome. Frontiers in Microbiology. 15 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Establishing subclasses of childhood eczema, their risk factors and prognosis. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 1-12.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Early-life exposure to tobacco smoke alters airway signaling pathways and later mortality in D. melanogaster. Environmental Pollution (1987).
  • Show author(s) (2022). Cohort profile: the multigeneration Respiratory Health in Northern Europe, Spain and Australia (RHINESSA) cohort. BMJ Open. 18 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Clinical remission of asthma and allergic rhinitis-in a longitudinal population study. Journal of Asthma and Allergy. 1569-1578.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Associations between body mass index trajectories in the first two years of life and allergic rhinitis, eczema and food allergy outcomes up to early adulthood. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Association of oral bacteria with oral hygiene habits and self-reported gingival bleeding. Journal of Clinical Periodontology. 768-781.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Ascaris exposure and its association with lung function, asthma, and DNA methylation in Northern Europe. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 1960-1969.
  • Show author(s) (2021). The risk of respiratory tract infections and antibiotic use in a general population and among people with asthma. European Respiratory Journal Open Research (ERJ Open Research). 1-11.
  • Show author(s) (2021). The coexistence of asthma and COPD: risk factors, clinical history and lung function trajectories. European Respiratory Journal.
  • Show author(s) (2021). The Exposome Approach in Allergies and Lung Diseases: Is It Time to Define a Preconception Exposome? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH).
  • Show author(s) (2021). Prenatal and prepubertal exposures to tobacco smoke in men may cause lower lung function in future offspring: a three-generation study using a causal modelling approach. European Respiratory Journal.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Preconceptional smoking alters spermatozoal miRNAs of murine fathers and affects offspring’s body weight. International Journal of Obesity. 1623-1627.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Physical activity in pregnancy: a Norwegian-Swedish mother-child birth cohort study. AJOG Global Reports. 10 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Parental pre-puberty overweight and offspring adult height in Abstracts of the 12th European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health 28 September - 1 October 2021, Bergen, norway. Tropical medicine & international health. 228-228.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Maternal preconception occupational exposure to cleaning products and disinfectants and offspring asthma. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 422-431.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Lifelong exposure to air pollution and greenness in relation to asthma, rhinitis and lung function in adulthood. Environment International. 10 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Father's prepuberty overweight and adult lung function and height in future sons. European Respiratory Journal.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Exposures during the prepuberty period and future offspring's health: evidence from human cohort studies. Biology of Reproduction. 667-680.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Exposure to environmental phenols and parabens, and relation to body mass index, eczema and respiratory outcomes in the Norwegian RHINESSA study. Environmental health.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Breathlessness across generations: Results from the RHINESSA generation study. Thorax. 172-177.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Adverse childhood experiences and asthma: Trajectories in a national cohort. Thorax. 547-553.
  • Show author(s) (2021). A prospective study on the role of smoking, environmental tobacco smoke, indoor painting and living in old or new buildings on asthma, rhinitis and respiratory symptoms. Environmental Research. 1-10.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Transient childhood wheeze is associated with less atopy in adolescence. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. 913-919.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Sleep time and sleep-related symptoms across two generations – results of the community-based RHINE and RHINESSA studies. Sleep Medicine. 8-13.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Regular Physical Activity Levels and Incidence of Restrictive Spirometry Pattern: A Longitudinal Analysis of 2 Population-Based Cohorts. American Journal of Epidemiology. 1521-1528.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Phenotyping Occupational Asthma Caused by Acrylates in a Multicenter Cohort Study. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. 971-979.e1.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Parents’ smoking onset before conception as related to body mass index and fat mass in adult offspring: Findings from the RHINESSA generation study. PLOS ONE. 1-20.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Parental occupational exposure pre- and post-conception and development of asthma in offspring. International Journal of Epidemiology. 1856-1869.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Maternal life and work stressors during pregnancy and asthma in offspring. International Journal of Epidemiology. 1847-1855.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Lung function in adult offspring as assocaited with their father's overweight in childhood/puberty. European Respiratory Journal.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Lifetime risk factors for pre- and post-bronchodilator lung function decline: A population-based study. Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 302-312.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Is self-reported history of eczema and hay fever a valid measure of atopy in those who report current asthma? Allergy. European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2981-2984.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Incidence trends of airflow obstruction among European adults without asthma: a 20-year cohort study. Scientific Reports. 1-9.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Human milk oligosaccharide profiles and allergic disease up to 18 years. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Early life acetaminophen exposure, glutathione S-transferase genes, and development of adolescent asthma in a high-risk birth cohort. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 1-22.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Does parental farm upbringing influence the risk of asthma in offspring? A three-generation study. International Journal of Epidemiology. 1874-1882.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Describing the status of reproductive ageing simply and precisely: A reproductive ageing score based on three questions and validated with hormone levels. PLOS ONE.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Associations of preconception exposure to air pollution and greenness with offspring asthma and hay fever. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH). 1-14.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Second-hand smoke exposure in adulthood and lower respiratory health during 20 year follow up in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. Respiratory Research. 15 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Restrictive spirometry pattern is associated with low physical activity levels. A population based international study. Respiratory Medicine. 116-123.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Reply. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 624-625.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Prevalence of allergic sensitization to storage mites in Northern Europe. Clinical and Experimental Allergy.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Offspring Reports on Parental Place of Upbringing: Is It Valid? Epidemiology. e16-e18.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Is atopic sensitization associated with indicators of early vascular ageing in adolescents? PLOS ONE. 1-11.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Interaction of glutathione S-transferase M1, T1, and P1 genes with early life tobacco smoke exposure on lung function in adolescents. Chest. 94-102.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis in Farmers: Improving Etiologic Diagnosis to Optimize Counselling. Journal of Agromedicine. 1-8.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Exogenous female sex steroids may reduce lung ageing after menopause: A 20-year follow-up study of a general population sample (ECRHS). Maturitas. 29-34.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Epigenome-wide association of father's smoking with offspring DNA methylation: A hypothesis-generating study. Environmental Epigenetics. 10 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Effects of smoking bans on passive smoking exposure at work and at home. The European Community respiratory health survey. Indoor Air. 670-679.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Childhood pneumonia, pleurisy and lung function: A cohort study from the first to sixth decade of life. Thorax. 28-37.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Being overweight in childhood, puberty, or early adulthood: Changing asthma risk in the next generation? Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 1-13.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Asthma and selective migration from farming environments in a three-generation cohort study. European Journal of Epidemiology (EJE). 601-609.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Agreement of offspring-reported parental smoking status: the RHINESSA generation study. BMC Public Health. 1-9.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Zoonotic helminth exposure and risk of allergic diseases: A study of two generations in Norway. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 66-77.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Trends in smoking initiation in Europe over 40 years: A retrospective cohort study. PLOS ONE. 1-14.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Transgenerational and intergenerational epigenetic inheritance in allergic diseases. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 765-772.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Prevalence of asthma-like symptoms with ageing. Thorax. 37-48.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Periodontal Health status and lung function in two Norwegian cohorts. PLOS ONE. 1-15.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Occupational exposures and 20-year incidence of COPD: The European Community Respiratory Health Survey. Thorax. 1-8.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Maternal age at delivery, lung function and asthma in offspring: A population-based survey. European Respiratory Journal. 1-11.
  • Show author(s) (2018). In utero exposure to cigarette smoke and effects across generations: A conference of animals on asthma. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 1378-1390.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Hypersensitivity pneumonitis in fish processing workers diagnosed by inhalation challenge. European Respiratory Journal Open Research (ERJ Open Research). 00071.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Environmental grass pollen levels in utero and at birth and cord blood IgE: Analysis of three birth cohorts. Environment International. 295-301.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Environmental Impact on Health across Generations: Policy Meets Biology. A Review of Animal and Human Models. Challenges.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Critical age windows in the impact of lifetime smoking exposure on respiratory symptoms and disease among ever smokers. Environmental Research. 241-247.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Cleaning at home and at work in relation to lung function decline and airway obstruction. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 1157-1163.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Childhood respiratory risk factor profiles and middle-age lung function: A prospective cohort study from the first to sixth decade. Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 1057-1066.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Childhood predictors of lung function trajectories and future COPD risk: a prospective cohort study from the first to the sixth decade of life . The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. 535-544.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Childhood measles contributes to post-bronchodilator airflow obstruction in middle-aged adults: A cohort study. Respirology (Carlton South. Print). 780-787.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Change in the prevalence asthma, rhinitis and respiratory symptom over a 20 year period: Associations to year of birth, life style and sleep related symptoms. BMC Pulmonary Medicine. 1-8.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Body silhouettes as a tool to reflect obesity in the past. PLOS ONE. 1-13.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Asthma and COPD overlap (ACO) is related to a high burden of sleep disturbance and respiratory symptoms: Results from the RHINE and Swedish GA2LEN surveys. PLOS ONE. 1-10.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Associations of fathers and their offsprings weight gain With non-allergic asthma.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Are high- and low-molecular-weight sensitizing agents associated with different clinical phenotypes of occupational asthma? Allergy. European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Airway responsiveness to methacholine and incidence of COPD: An international prospective cohort study. Thorax. 825-832.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Agreement in reporting of asthma by parents or offspring - the RHINESSA generation study. BMC Pulmonary Medicine. 1-10.
  • Show author(s) (2018). A three-generation study on the association of tobacco smoking with asthma. International Journal of Epidemiology. 1106-1117.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Validation of maternal reported pregnancy and birth characteristics against the Medical Birth Registry of Norway. PLOS ONE. 1-12.
  • Show author(s) (2017). The effects of growing up on a farm on adult lung function and allergic phenotypes: An international population-based study. Thorax. 236-244.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Risk factors for premenstrual asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine. 57-72.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Prevalence of, and work-related risk factors for, hand eczema in a Norwegian general population (The HUNT Study). Contact Dermatitis. 214-223.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Predictors of smoking cessation: A longitudinal study in a large cohort of smokers. Respiratory Medicine. 164-169.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Physical activity and asthma: A longitudinal and multi-country study. Journal of Asthma. 938-945.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Menopause is associated with accelerated lung function decline. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 1058-1065.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Late Breaking Abstract- Mothers' preconception overweight and offspring asthma. European Respiratory Journal.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Effect of season of birth on cord blood IgE and IgE at birth: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Environmental Research. 198-205.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Dietary antioxidants and 10-year lung function decline in adults from the ECRHS survey. European Respiratory Journal. 1-9.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Cohort Profile: Melbourne Atopy Cohort study (MACS). International Journal of Epidemiology. 25-26g.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Clinical markers of asthma and IgE assessed in parents before conception predict asthma and hayfever in the offspring. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 627-638.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Breast milk polyunsaturated fatty acids: associations with adolescent allergic disease and lung function. Allergy. European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 1193-1201.
  • Show author(s) (2017). A follow-up study of airway symptoms and lung function among residents and workers 5.5years after an oil tank explosion. BMC Pulmonary Medicine. 1-9.
  • Show author(s) (2016). Validation of self-reported figural drawing scales against anthropometric measurements in adults. Public Health Nutrition (PHN). 1944-1951.
  • Show author(s) (2016). The risk of respiratory symptoms on allergen exposure increases with increasing specific IgE levels. Allergy. European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 859-868.
  • Show author(s) (2016). The Association of gum bleeding With respiratory Health in a population based study from Northern Europe. PLOS ONE.
  • Show author(s) (2016). Pulmonary illness as a consequence of occupational exposure to shrimp shell powder. Environmental Research. 491-499.
  • Show author(s) (2016). Mother's smoking and complex lung function of offspring in middle age: A cohort study from childhood. Respirology (Carlton South. Print). 911-919.
  • Show author(s) (2016). Menopause as a predictor of new-onset asthma: A longitudinal Northern European population study. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 50-57.e6.
  • Show author(s) (2016). LATE-BREAKING ABSTRACT: Validation of self-reported body silhouettes in a Northern European study. European Respiratory Journal.
  • Show author(s) (2016). Functional gastrointestinal symptoms are associated with higher serum total IgE levels, but less atopic sensitization. Digestive Diseases and Sciences. 189-197.
  • Show author(s) (2016). Father’s environment before conception and asthma risk in his children: a multi-generation analysis of the Respiratory Health In Northern Europe study. International Journal of Epidemiology. 235-245.
  • Show author(s) (2016). Early smoke exposure is associated with asthma and lung function deficits in adolescents. Journal of Asthma. 662-669.
  • Show author(s) (2016). Early life origins of lung ageing: Early life exposures and lung function decline in adulthood in two European cohorts aged 28-73 years. PLOS ONE.
  • Show author(s) (2016). Changes in IgE sensitization and total IgE levels over 20 years of follow-up. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 1788-1795.e9.
  • Show author(s) (2016). A clear urban–rural gradient of allergic rhinitis in a population-based study in Northern Europe. European Clinical Respiratory Journal.
  • Show author(s) (2015). The urban-rural gradient in asthma: A population-based study in Northern Europe. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH).
  • Show author(s) (2015). The locus C11orf30 increases susceptibility to poly-sensitization. Allergy. European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 328-333.
  • Show author(s) (2015). Respiratory health in cleaners in Northern Europe: Is susceptibility established in early life? PLOS ONE. 13 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2015). Predictors of microbial agents in dust and respiratory health in the Ecrhs. BMC Pulmonary Medicine.
  • Show author(s) (2015). Interaction between asthma and smoking increases the risk of adult airway obstruction. European Respiratory Journal. 635-643.
  • Show author(s) (2015). Incidence of rhinitis and asthma related to welding in Northern Europe. European Respiratory Journal. 1290-1297.
  • Show author(s) (2015). House dust-mite allergen exposure is associated with serum specific IgE but not with respiratory outcomes. Indoor Air. 235-244.
  • Show author(s) (2015). En baker med astma. Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening. 1263-1265.
  • Show author(s) (2015). Atopic sensitization and functional gastrointestinal symptoms: Is there any relation? Gastroenterology. 778.
  • Show author(s) (2015). Asthma, COPD and overlap syndrome: A longitudinal study in young European adults. European Respiratory Journal. 671-679.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Place of upbringing in early childhood as related to inflammatory bowel diseases in adulthood: A population-based cohort study in Northern Europe. European Journal of Epidemiology (EJE). 429-437.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Novel childhood asthma genes interact with in utero and early-life tobacco smoke exposure . Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 885-888.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Longterm follow-up in European respiratory health studies - patterns and implications. BMC Pulmonary Medicine.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Early-life risk factors for childhood wheeze phenotypes in a high-risk birth cohort. Journal of Pediatrics. 289-294.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Childhood wheeze phenotypes show less than expected growth in FEV1 across adolescence. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 1351-1358.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Can an airway challenge test predict respiratory diseases? A population-based international study. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 104-110.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Astma og renholdsarbeidere: Resultater fra RHINE-studien. Fagbladet Allergi i praksis. 30-33.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Are total immunoglobulin E and atopic sensitization associated with food-related gastrointestinal complaints? Neurogastroenterology and Motility. 42.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Airway symptoms and lung function among male workers in an area polluted from an oil tank. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 953-958.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

RHINESSA generation study

RHINESSA generation study www.rhinessa.net: Cecilie Svanes is the scientific leader of the international multi-centre multi-generation RHINESSA study, a study she has conceived and initiated. The study is designed to identify and investigate factors from before conception and in previous generations and determine their potential influence on health outcomes.

The study focuses mainly on asthma, allergies and lung health. It also has valuable outcome data on other health issues and diseases. Exposure data includes among other things, a range of chemical exposures (i.e. smoking, air pollution, indoor environment, air pollution and greenness, occupational exposures) and data on metabolic and hormonal factors, helminth infections, a.o. RHINESSA studies the offspring of the ECRHS/RHINE studies, see description below.

Vice PI is professor Vivi Schlünssen, University of Århus, and the other centre PI’s of the ten RHINESSA study centres are:  Randi J Bertelsen for Bergen, Norway; Shyamali Dharmage for Melbourne, Australia; Vivi Schlünssen for Århus, Denmark; Nils Oskar Jögi for Tartu, Estonia; Bryndis Benediktsdottir for Reykjavik, Iceland; Francisco Javier Callejas González for Albacete, Spain; José Luis Sánchez for Huelva, Spain; Mathias Holm for Göteborg, Sweden; Lennart Bråbäck for Umeå, Sweden; and Christer Jansson for Uppsala, Sweden.

The RHINESSA studies are funded from a range of funding agencies, including the Research Council of Norway (RCN) FRIPRO project “Preconception exposures and related epigenetic mechanisms in asthma and allergies” (PI Cecilie Svanes), the Western Norway Health Authorities project “Exposures in vulnerable periods and future health” (PI Cecilie Svanes); ERC StG BRUSH “Oral bacteria as determinants for respiratory health” (PI Randi J Bertelsen); RCN project “Exposure to Antibacterial Compounds: The Microbiome and Allergic Diseases” (PI Randi J Bertelsen), and other


EPHOR Exposome project of health and occupational research

EPHOR Exposome project of health and occupational research, EU funded project under the H2020 program https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/874703. This EU project aims to promote a healthy work environment. It is led by professor Anjoeka Pronk, Senior Scientist at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, and Svanes leads the UiB contribution. The project will generate a working-life exposome toolbox that will provide scientists, occupational health practitioners and policy makers with advanced methods to collect individual data. It is based on knowledge of the relationship between working life exposome and NCDs as well as methods to evaluate the social and economic impacts. 


The European Community Respiratory Health Study (ECRHS)

The European Community Respiratory Health Study (ECRHS) www.ecrhs.org is led by professor Deborah Jarvis (previously professor Peter Burney) at the Imperial College, London, UK, heading a steering committee of European and Australian world-leading scientists in respiratory epidemiology a.o. fields. Svanes is member of the ECRHS steering committee and the leader of the ECRHS early life origins working group. Professor FG Real is the PI of Bergen study centre. The ECRHS is the world’s largest international study of asthma and allergies in adults. Its results are disseminated in >>500 scientific articles and are being used to guide today’s health care policies.


Respiratory Health in Northern Europe (RHINE)

The Respiratory Health in Northern Europe (RHINE) www.rhine.su  study is a questionnaire based study linked to ECRHS. Svanes leads the early life origins work in this study. The study is led by professor Christer Jansson, University of Uppsala, and center PIs are Kjell Torén for Göterborg, Sweden; Bertil Forsberg for Umeå, Sweden; Thórarinn Gislason for Reykjavik, Iceland; Rain Jõgi for Tartu, Estonia; Ane Johannessen for Bergen, Norway; and Vivi Schlüssen for Aarhus, Denmark.


Exploring the role of helminths in the global allergy epidemic

The World Universities Network (WUN) project “Exploring the role of helminths in the global allergy epidemic” is led by Cecilie Svanes in an international collaboration including professor and immunologist William Horsnell, University of Cape Town and professor and epigeneticist John W Holloway, University of Southampton. You can read about the project here:  https://wun.ac.uk/article/research-to-prevent-future-pandemics


ALEC Ageing Lungs in European Cohorts

ALEC Ageing Lungs in European Cohorts, https://www.alecstudy.org/ EU H2020 funded project led by professor Deborah Jarvis, Imperial College, London. Cecilie Svanes is responsible for the work package “Preconception and transgenerational risk factors”. The ALEC study is improving our understanding of risk factors for low lung function, respiratory disability and the development of chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), by using information held within existing cohort studies and generating new studies.


Cecilie Svanes was awarded the 2020 Escher Prize in Germ Cell Exposures. Prof. Svanes' research has led to the generation of a new research approach that is providing key evidence for how germ cell exposure to exogenous toxicants to has the potential to play non-genetic heritable role in the aetiology of respiratory and metabolic health in humans.

In 2020, Svanes was given the Medical Faculty Award for excellent research dissemination from the University of Bergen. In the brief summary, describing the choice, it was said that the award recognized her tremendous engagement to disseminate her research results concerning the negative impact of cleaning products on lung health. Thanks to her efforts, this information was widely disseminated in the popular press around the world, in consumer fora, industrial meetings, and in policy debates. (see more under Communication)

Svanes received a Sustainability Fund Award in 2018 from the World Universities Network (WUN) for her work on helminths in relation to asthma and allergies.

Cecilie Svanes was given the prestigious award “KOLS prisen” in 2014, by the Norwegian Heart and Lung Association for her original work on the early life origins of COPD. Read more.

She has received various prizes for best paper, best presentation, outstanding science, and more from various organisations, including the European Respiratory Society, the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, and the University in Bergen.

Serving as a Research Evaluator:

Cecilie Svanes is frequently asked to serve as an evaluator of science and scientists. She has performed  expert evaluations for institutions such as the Research Council of Sweden, the UK Medical Research Council, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Netherlands Asthma Foundation, British Lung Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation, European Respiratory Society, CARTA Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa, India Alliance, University of Cape Town, University of Verona, University of Copenhagen, University of Melbourne, University of Cyprus/Harvard University and University of Reykjavik and for various universities in Norway.

Svanes also reviews scientific papers in various fields for a range of higher impact journals and for journals including The Lancet, Plos Med, Am J Resp Crit Care Med, J All Clin Immunol, Thorax, Eur Resp J, Allergy, Clin Exp All, Int J Epidemiol, Am J Epidemiol, Envir Health, Occ Env Med, Clinical Epigenetics and others.


Other Professional Commitments

Cecilie Svanes is a member of several Steering Groups including the the ECRHS and RHINESSA studies, and the World University Network (WUN) Public Health Global Challenge Steering group.

She is also part of the Director Team in the WUN inVIVO Collatoration.

Related content