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University Medical Center Groningen

Dr. Nynke Smidt

Dr. Nynke Smidt
Dr. Nynke Smidt

Nynke Smidt (PhD) is associated professor and leader of the unit Health Behavior Epidemiology at the Department of Epidemiology of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). She also holds a position (0.2 fte) at the Department of Geriatrics (UMCG) and Alzheimer Center Groningen (UMCG)(Prof.dr. Sophia de Rooij).

Nynke has a background in physiotherapy (1992, cum laude) and received her Master degree in Health Sciences (specialization Epidemiology) from Maastricht University in 1995. She obtained her PhD at the VU Medical Center in 2001 on the topic “Conservative treatments for lateral epicondylitis in primary care”. Since 2001, she has conducted several projects as post-doc (evaluation of the STARD statement), project leader of the Epidemiological Study Air Disaster in Amsterdam (ESADA), scientific secretary of The Health Council of the Netherlands (report Exercise Therapy), scientific coordinator of the Academic Workplace Elderly Care (‘ Academische Werkplaats Ouderenzorg Noordelijk Zuid Holland) and manager Data-Integrity of Lifelines. As employee of the Dutch Cochrane Centre, she has ample knowledge and experience of conducting systematic reviews.

Her research is aimed to investigate the determinants that shape our health behaviour over the life course and subsequently develop tailor-made lifestyle advice to reduce disease risk. Health behavior has a major impact on our health and life expectancy. The determinants of health behavior are complex and multifaceted, including individual, social and environmental factors. This makes change of health behavior difficult. Therefore, prevention of unhealthy behavior and maintaining of healthy behavior are important. In order to investigate the development of health behavior over the life course and identifying susceptible (critical and sensitive) periods of health behavior change during the life course (i.e. school changes, starting /stopping work, retirement), large population based cohort studies are needed. An important source for studies within this unit is LifeLines, a population based cohort study among 167 729 participants from the three Northern provinces of the Netherlands.

Currently, her unit consists of 7 PhD students, 1 post doc and several MSc-students. Furthermore, she is coordinator of the GSMS course ‘Systematic reviews and meta-analysis’, member of the management team of the Research Institute SHARE of the UMCG and board member of the Society for Epidemiology.

Her publications can be found on:

Last modified:13 September 2018 2.34 p.m.