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Curriculum vitae


Name: Birger Thorsteinsson



Professor, consultant, DMSc, MD


Current position:

Consultant, Dpt Cardiology, Nephrology and Endocrinology H, Nordsjællands Hospital (1993)

Professor, Dpt Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen (2009)

Coordinating professor, Nordsjællands Hospital and University of Copenhagen (2013)



MD (1976), certified specialist in internal medicine (1990) and endocrinology (1993), DMSc (1990)


Research Experience and Research Interest:

Diabetes with special emphasis on hypoglycaemia.


Clinical and experimental studies of hypoglycaemia in patients with type 1 diabetes and insulin-treated type 2 diabetes have been conducted to understand the mechanisms of development of severe hypoglycaemia. Our main result is the finding of a strong association between the genetically determined basal activity in the renin angiotensin system (RAS) and the risk of severe hypoglycaemia in patients with type 1 diabetes. The finding makes further understanding of the mechanisms of development of severe hypoglycaemia possible, makes prediction of individual risk of hypoglycaemia more precise, and may potentially make medical prevention of severe hypoglycaemia possible. The finding has initiated a series of experimental studies in normal subjects and patients with type 1 diabetes, who have been subjected to insulin-induced mild hypoglycaemia using neurophysiological and neuropsychological methods and imaging techniques. Clinical studies include among others the HypoAna trial, examining the occurrence of severe hypoglycaemic episodes during treatment with insulin analogues or human insulin in patients with type 1 diabetes and recurrent severe hypoglycaemia. The study is a landmark study due to its design as a randomized cross-over study.


Previously engaged in research in insulin pharmacokinetics, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes and quality assurance in diabetes treatment.


Investigator or co-investigator in 27 international multicentre RCTs.


Teaching/supervision graduate and postgraduate:

Scientific mentor at 5 DMSc projects, principal supervisor of 9 PhD students (4 ongoing), supervisor of 7 PhD students (3 ongoing), 2 bachelor students and 5 master’s students. Evaluator of  1 DMSc thesis and 11 PhD theses.


Peer reviewer:

Acta Endocrinol, Am J Physiol, BMC Endocrine Disorders, Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Diabetes Management, Diabetic Medicine, Diabetologia,,Hormone Metab Res, J Diab Complic, J Diab Sci Technol, J Clin Psychiatry, Nature Rev Endocrinol, Pediatric Research.

Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)



102 scientific papers, 23 multicentre studies, 15 scientific letters etc., 15 reviews, 9 chapters in textbooks etc., 223 abstracts, 140 oral presentations, and 134 posters.


Selected publications:

*Høi-Hansen T, Pedersen-Bjergaard U, Due-Andersen R, Thomsen C, Kjær T , Høgenhaven H, Smed A, Holst JJ, Dela F, Boomsma F, Thorsteinsson B. Cognitive performance, symptoms and hormonal counter-regulation during hypoglycaemia in patients with type 1 diabetes and high or low renin-angiotensin system activity. JRAAS 2009;10:216-229

*Pedersen-Bjergaard U, Nielsen SL, Akram K, Perrild H, Nordestgaard BG, Montgomery H, Borch-Johnsen K, Pramming S, Thorsteinsson B. Angiotensin-converting enzyme and angiotensin II receptor subtype 2 genotypes in type 1 diabetes and severe hypoglycaemia requiring emergency treatment. A case-cohort study. Pharmacogenet Genomics 2009;19:864-868

*Høi-Hansen T, Pedersen-Bjergaard U, Thorsteinsson B. Classification of hypoglycemia awareness in people with type 1 diabetes in clinical practice. J Diab Compl 2010;24:392-397

*Bie-Olsen L, Pedersen-Bjergaard U, Kjær TW, Lonsdale MN, Law I, Thorsteinsson B. Differences in cortical and pituitary activity in response to hypoglycaemia and cognitive testing in healthy men with different basal activity of the renin-angiotensin system. JRAAS 2010;11:173-179

*Kristensen PL, Hansen LS, Jespersen MJ, Pedersen-Bjergaard U, Beck-Nielsen H, Christiansen JS, Nørgaard K, Perrild H, Parving H-H, Thorsteinsson B, Tarnow L. Insulin analogues and severe hypoglycaemia in type 1 diabetes. Diab Res Clin Pract 2012;96:17-23

*Bay C, Kristensen PL, Pedersen-Bjergaard U, Tarnow L, Thorsteinsson B. Nocturnal continuous glucose monitoring: accuracy and reliability of hypoglycemia detection in patients with type 1 diabetes at high risk of severe hypoglycemia. Diabetes Technol Ther 2013;15:371-377

*Kristensen PL, Pedersen-Bjergaard U, Kjær TW, Olsen NV, Dela F, Holst JJ, Faber J, Tarnow L, Thorsteinsson B. Influence of erythropoietin on cognitive performance during experimental hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes: a randomized cross-over trial. Plos One 2013;8(4):e59672

*Færch LH, Sejling A-S, Lajer M, Tarnow L, Thorsteinsson B, Pedersen-Bjergaard U. ACE genotype, phenotype and all-cause mortality in different cohorts of patients with type 1 diabetes. JRAAS 2013; Jul 5 (Epub ahead of print)

*Færch LH, Thorsteinsson B, Tarnow L, Holst JJ, Kjær T, Kanters J, Larroude C, Dela F, Pedersen-Bjergaard U. Effects of angiotensin II receptor blockade on cerebral, cardiovascular, counter-regulatory, and symptomatic responses during hypoglycaemia in patients with type 1 diabetes. JRAAS 2014; Feb (in press)

*Pedersen-Bjergaard U, Kristensen PL, Beck-Nielsen H, Nørgaard K, Perrild H, Christiansen JS, Jensen T, Hougaard P, Parving H-H, Thorsteinsson B, Tarnow L. The effect of insulin analogues on risk of severe hypoglycaemia in patients with type 1 diabetes prone to recurrent severe hypoglycaemia - The randomised HypoAna Trial. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2014;2:553-561

*Pedersen-Bjergaard U, Færch L, Allingbjerg M-L, Agesen R, Thorsteinsson B. The influence of new European Union driver’s license legislation on reporting of severe hypoglycemia by patients with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2014; Oct 6 (Epub ahead of print)


Birger Thorsteinsson/25 November 2014

ID: 30786798