The Tromsø Study

The Tromsø Study

The Tromsø Study is Norway's most comprehensive and most participated population study. More than 45 000 persons have participated in one or more of the seven surveys conducted since 1974. The research has provided important knowledge about health and disease and contributes to better patient care, nationally and internationally.

Participant in the Tromsø Study 

To smilende kvinner
The Tromsø Study. Photo: Edvard Kristiansen

As a participant, you can be confident that all the information you have provided to the Tromsø Study by participating is treated with respect for privacy, and in accordance with laws and regulations. The Tromsø Study processes personal data, i.e. information that can be linked to you as a person. It is important that you are familiar with what personal data we process so that you can safeguard your rights under the Health Research Act (Helseforskningsloven), the Regulations on population-based health research (Forskrift om befolkningsbaserte helseundersøkelser) and the Data Protection Legislation (Personvernlovgivningen).

All employees working on the Tromsø Study have a duty of confidentiality (taushetsplikt). The data collected may only be used for approved research purposes. It will not be possible to identify you when the results of the research are published. The Tromsø Study is affiliated with the Faculty of Health Sciences at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway.

For researchers

Forsker studerer prøve i Biobanken
Only researchers affiliated with approved research institutions can apply for access to research of the Tromsø Study's material. Photo: Marius Fiskum. Biobank-Helsefak

Project managers linked to institutions with research expertise can apply for access to research data from the Tromsø Study. The project manager must have research expertise (Ph.D) and be affiliated with a research institution. The main supervisor must register as project leaders for Ph.D. and masters students. Researcher study samples in the Bank for biological material (Biobanken). 

To search for access to: 

All projects applying for data, biological material and new contact with previous participants in the Tromsø study must have their own approval from the Regional ethics committee (REK). For projects where an anonymized file will be used, such as some master's degree projects, a separate REK approval is not required. Projects applying to the Tromsø study must provide a basis for processing under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Personal Data Act (Personopplysningsloven). Furthermore, the responsible research institution must assess the need to implement the Data Protection Impact Assessment (Personvernkonsekvensvurdering - DPIA). All projects affiliated with UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, and processing personal data shall be reported to the Norwegian Centre for Research Data (Norsk senter for forskningsdata - NSD) in accordance with UiT's guidelines.


Variables available in the Tromsø Study (NESSTAR)
Naming guidelines: How to refer to the Tromsø Study in articles

About

Mann og kvinne på tur i skogen
Photo: Marius Fiskum

The Tromsø Study began in 1974 due to the high mortality rate of cardiovascular disease in Northern Norway. Since then, seven surveys have been conducted with 7-8 years apart. The Tromsø Study is Norway's longest-lasting, most participated study, and has the most comprehensive collection of health data from questionnaires and measurements, biological samples and clinical surveys. The results of the study have contributed to preventive health care, and in 2012 the mortality rate of cardiovascular disease in the north was at the same level as the country at large.

The research ranges from the main research area of cardiovascular disease to other major public health challenges such as cancer, diabetes, physical activity and diet, adolescent health, aging and dementia, lung disease, mental health, intoxication, chronic pain, musculoskeletal disorders, oral and dental health, antibiotic resistance to name a few. To date, about 150 doctoral theses have been submitted, 60 master's theses and over 900 articles based on data from the Tromsø Study. Publications in leading journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Genetics, Circulation, The Lancet, among others, reflect the high quality in data base and research.

The Tromsø Study is a health register with annual links to national (Cause of Death and Cancer) and local (infarction, atrial fibrillation, stroke, blood clots, bone fractures and diabetes) disease registries that add to an even greater research value.

 

Study year Study's name Number of participants
1974 Tromsø 1 6595 men
1979–80 Tromsø 2 16621 men and women
1986–87 Tromsø 3 21826 men and women 
1994–95 Tromsø 4 27158 men and women 
2001 Tromsø 5 8130 men and women
2007–08 Tromsø 6 12984 men and women
2015–16 Tromsø 7 21083 men and women

 

The eighth survey of the Tromsø Study is planned to be completed in 2024-2025. 


Ongoing projects
Publications
Major Collaborative Project

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