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Introduction

The key disciplines in the CPHS are demography, medical sociology, social epidemiology and social psychology. The research within the CPHS is based on large population based studies on social structural and socioeconomic influences on health behaviours, biomarkers, health, disease and mortality; their psychosocial determinants, as well as consequences of health and illness. The CPHS teams apply advanced study designs and statistical methods and the outcomes of research are published in leading international journals. There is long-lasting strong international collaboration that has also lead to a large number of international comparative studies. The CPHS findings are used in monitoring of health inequalities and in policies to reduce these inequalities. Intervention studies within the CPHS contribute to more efficient health promotion programs.

The CPHS has a long experience of using various data sources that enable powerful designs to examine causes and consequences of population health. In particular, as part of the CPHS the ‘Population Research Unit’ has the responsibility for the maintenance and development of an individual-level register-based data set designed for the analysis of different demographic and social phenomena. This data set is unique and internationally well-known for its quality, and it covers 40 years of follow-up of the total Finnish population. Within the Faculty of Medicine the CPHS team is the only one in charge of social scientific research and training on population health.

The CPHS doctoral program ‘Population, Health and Living Conditions’ focuses on advanced quantitative health research, and the participating teams are natural learning environments for international level research. Active collaboration between CPHS teams and national and international research institutes provides excellent opportunities for students to participate in multidisciplinary research and provide excellent employment opportunities. Training has been international during the last fifteen years with leading foreign visitors and teachers participating in the seminars. A doctoral training programme with Swedish partners has continued for over ten years.