The Third Tromsø Study

The third Tromsø Study was carried out in 1986-87 and comprised men in the 20-61 age group (born in 1925-1966) and women in the 20-56 age group (born in 1930-1966), a randomly selected 10 percent from the 12-19 age group (born 1967-1974) and people who were included in the Family Intervention Study, which was carried out after the study in 1979-80. 

A total of 10,963 men and 10,863 women participated in the study, which represented 75 percent of the total number invited.

Participation in Tromsø 3, 1986-87:

Age Men invited Women invited Male participants Female participants % men % women
12-14 219 242 181 195 82,6 80,6
15-19 522 524 368 390 70,5 74,4
20-24 2076 2102 1160 1303 55,9 62,0
25-29 2211 2194 1318 1572 59,6 71,6
30-34 2327 2367 1583 1848 68,0 78,1
35-39 2261 1987 1710 1681 75,6 84,6
40-44 1893 1722 1485 1526 78,4 88,6
45-49 1318 1177 1076 1059 81,6 90,0
50-54 1048 961 892 874 85,1 90,9
55-59 990 427 836 381 84,4 89,2
60-64 416 36 354 30 85,1 83,3
65-67 0 6 0 4 0 66,7
TOTAL 15281 13745 10963 10863 71,8 79,0


If you do not take into account people who were on temporary leave, had moved or died before the study, the participation rate was 78 percent for men and 85 percent for women.

Examination methods and measurements

A brief questionnaire accompanied the invitation. The questionnaire included questions on diagnosed cardiovascular diseases or diabetes, symptoms of cardiovascular diseases, consumption of salty food and preference of fat type, smoking habits, coffee consumption and physical activity during work and leisure time. This questionnaire was similar to those used in the previous two studies. Measurements of height, weight and blood pressure were taken. A blood sample was also taken to measure serum total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and gamma-glutamyltransferase (gamma-GT). A simple electrocardiogram (ECG) was also taken. People who attended the study received another questionnaire that they were asked to complete and send back.

What did we discover?

Tromsø 3 confirmed that unfiltered coffee increased serum cholesterol. This study was also the basis for a clinical experiment among 156 women and men with slightly raised blood pressure where it was shown that taking fish oil reduced the blood pressure. This study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

We also found that people who developed myocardial infarction had higher levels of homocysteine than healthy people, but a controlled trial (NORVIT-study) performed later has shown that this relationship was not causal.



Page administrator: Kari Wagelid Grønn
Last updated: 25.02.2016 08:57
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