HUNT4 – Number four of the Trøndelag Health Survey completed
By Andreas J. Weser / Steinar Krokstad – HUNT Research Centre, Levanger, Norway
Since 1984 NTNU’s Medical Faculty conducts periodic comprehensive population health surveys – the HUNT Study – a longitudinal population health survey in Norway (https://www.ntnu.edu/hunt).
We are proud to announce that survey number four has just been completed this spring – after travelling the wide county for 18 months visiting 23 municipalities and 60 schools collecting data with interviews, questionnaires, clinical investigations and collecting samples (serum, plasma, buffy coat, urine, saliva, faeces…) from about 64.000 participants from Nord-Trøndelag.
The HUNT Study is primarily implemented to further increase our knowledge of the major public health challenges. Our goal is to further build up a database for research to optimise treatments, develop new medicines and provide new answers about diseases such as cardiovascular disease, lung disease, allergy, diabetes, headaches, cancer, mental health problems and much more. The data is stored in the HUNT Databank and Biobank, unique resources for researchers nationally and internationally (194 PhDs, about 100 peer reviewed papers annually). It is part of international cohort-infrastructures, and HUNT is partner in the European project SYNCHROS. We contribute with our experience in conducting longitudinal data collections and medical research. The challenge in planning a new survey linked to surveys reaching back several decades is to find a compromise between the continuity in the survey design required for longitudinal research and the implementation of new research questions, evolving standards, tests and new data collection technologies. These challenges are – to some extent – similar to those researchers face when there is the need to analyse data from several cohorts in different countries, regions or institutes. HUNT supports research across different cohorts by publishing methodological cohort profiles regularly and using internationally frequently used instruments and methods in data collection standards and recommendations.