The Netherlands Twin Register: Longitudinal Research Based on Twin and Twin-Family Designs

Lannie Ligthart, Catharina E M van Beijsterveldt, Sofieke T Kevenaar, Eveline L. de Zeeuw, Elsje van Bergen, Susanne Bruins, René Pool, Quinta Helmer, Jenny van Dongen, Jouke-Jan Hottenga, Dennis Van't Ent, Conor V Dolan, Gareth E Davies, Erik A Ehli, Meike Bartels, Gonneke Willemsen, Eco J C de Geus, Dorret I Boomsma

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Netherlands Twin Register (NTR) is a national register in which twins, multiples and their parents, siblings, spouses and other family members participate. Here we describe the NTR resources that were created from more than 30 years of data collections; the development and maintenance of the newly developed database systems, and the possibilities these resources create for future research. Since the early 1980s, the NTR has enrolled around 120,000 twins and a roughly equal number of their relatives. The majority of twin families have participated in survey studies, and subsamples took part in biomaterial collection (e.g., DNA) and dedicated projects, for example, for neuropsychological, biomarker and behavioral traits. The recruitment into the NTR is all inclusive without any restrictions on enrollment. These resources - the longitudinal phenotyping, the extended pedigree structures and the multigeneration genotyping - allow for future twin-family research that will contribute to gene discovery, causality modeling, and studies of genetic and cultural inheritance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-636
Number of pages14
JournalTwin research and human genetics : the official journal of the International Society for Twin Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Cohort Studies

  • Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)


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