Anna Johansson

Anna Johansson

Statistician | Assistant Professor | Docent
Telephone: +46852486169
Visiting address: Nobels väg 12a, 17165 Solna
Postal address: C8 Medicinsk epidemiologi och biostatistik, C8 Applied Biostatistics ABS, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I am Docent, Assistant Professor and group leader, as well as a biostatistician and cancer epidemiologist. I lead research in cancer epidemiology, reproductive factors, socioeconomic inequalities, applied statistics and register-based research. My research also spans over the Nordic countries. 

  • I am Visiting Researcher at the Cancer Registry of Norway leading projects on breast cancer using population-based cancer data. I am also project manager and co-leader of two large Nordic research projects: i) Nordic cancer and COVID-19 project and ii) the NORDCAN Survival Studies.

    I have collaborations with clinical researchers at Karolinska University Hospital, Capio St Göran Hospital and Uppsala University Hospital.

    FUNDING: Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden), Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), Radiumhemmet Research Foundations, Swedish Breast Cancer Association, Karolinska Institutet Foundations, and the Nordic Cancer Union.


    My first research interest is cancer in relation to pregnancy and reproductive history, with a special focus on pregnancy-associated cancer, i.e. cancer diagnosed during or within one or two years after a pregnancy. The research questions I am addressing concern the increasing incidence trend, risk patterns before and after delivery, tumour characteristics and survival. I also study other reproductive factors, such as age at births, number of children, infertility and IVF treatment, in relation to cancer risk and prognosis, as well as reproductive outcomes after cancer.

    My second research interest is breast cancer among women. I am specifically studying how survival has improved over time, and how it depends on patient, tumour and treatment factors. A key goal is to increase the understanding of socioeconomic inequalities in breast cancer, for example which patient groups have lower access to screening and treatment. I am interested in identifying subgroups of patients at particular high risk for recurrence, treatment complications and lower survival, in particular after accounting for differences in age, comorbidity and socioeconomic position.

    Nordic cancer registries are a goldmine to cancer epidemiology with nationwide coverage of a population of more than 27 million. In collaboration with cancer researchers from Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, I am leading and co-leading three large Nordic cancer research efforts on i) pregnancy and cancer, ii) cancer and COVID-19 and iii) cancer survival across the Nordic countries.

    As an applied statistician and epidemiologist, I am particularly interested in finding the best way to utilize register data to estimate disease risks in the population, for example by clever study designs and statistical methods for register-based research. Novel methods I use include new ways of estimate and measure cancer survival, and methods to account for missing data in registry data. In my research I utilize the large Swedish population-based cancer registers, such as the National Quality Register for Breast Cancer (NKBC). These unique data sources can be used to answer detailed clinical and epidemiological questions in way that is impossible in many other countries. 

    The quality of research is highly dependent on the quality of the underlying data. I have worked effortlessly for many years to improve the procedures for research documentation and data management within research projects at KI. This includes everything from standardized variable lists and codes, commented and structure statistical programming, version control to documentation of research projects and ethical approvals.
    I have been leading the development of research documentation guidelines in our department, as well as teaching hands-on techniques for research documentation to epidemiologists, clinicians and researchers at KI and elsewhere. I am regularly an invited speaker on this topic. A video of my lecture 2018-11-22 at the KI Library Workshop is available .


  • I have been involved in teaching and course organising of:

    • Survival analysis (Biostatistics III), within the Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology

    • Epidemiology II, within the Doctoral Programme in Epidemiology

    • Competing risks and multistate models

    • Epidemiological designs in a statistical framework

    • Workshops on epidemiological designs and cancer survival analysis

    • Good Data Management Practice in Epidemiology

    • Guidelines for Data Management in Clinical Research


All other publications


  • Statistician, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, 1999-
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, 2021-2027

Degrees and Education

  • Docent, Karolinska Institutet, 2022
  • Degree Of Doctor Of Philosophy, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, 2016
  • MSc, Mathematical Statistics, Stockholm University, 1999


  • Frida Lundberg, 2018
  • Leo Gkekos
  • Katrín Gunnarsdóttir

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