The Second Tromsø Study

The second survey of the Tromsø Study (Tromsø2) was carried out in 1979-80 and comprised men in the 20-54 age groups (born in 1925-1959) and women in the 20-49 age groups (born in 1930-1959). Thus, men who were invited to participate in the first Tromsø Study, and who still lived in Tromsø, were again invited to participate and men who had turned 20 since 1974 were also invited. It was important to gain follow up information from men who had been examined five years previously, as well as examining the risk factor level among women.

Participation in Tromsø2, 1979-80:

A total of 8477 men and 8143 women participated in the Tromsø2, which was 74 percent of the total number invited to participate in this study.

Age Men invited Women invited Male participants Female participants % men % women
20-24 1782 2000 1027 1383 57,6 69,1
25-29 2261 2286 1477 1734 65,3 75,9
30-34 2278 2087 1713 1784 75,2 85,5
35-39 1786 1539 1422 1376 79,6 89,4
40-44 1212 1088 1002 998 82,7 91,7
45-49 1077 958 912 868 84,7 90,6
50-54 1085   924   85,2  
TOTAL 11481 9958 8477 8143 73,8 81,8


If you do not take into account people who had moved or died before the study, the participation rate was 82 percent for men and 88 percent for women.

Examination methods and measurements

A brief questionnaire accompanied the invitation . This was identical to the questionnaire used in Tromsø1. The questionnaire included questions on diagnosed cardiovascular diseases or diabetes, symptoms of cardiovascular diseases, smoking habits and physical activity during work and leisure time. Measurements of height, weight and blood pressure were taken. A blood sample was also taken to measure serum total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and the blood sugar level. People who attended the study received another questionnaire that they were asked to complete and send back.

What did we discover?

The best-known result based on data from Tromsø2 is the discovery that the consumption of coffee increases serum cholesterol. A small-scale experiment after the conclusion of this study showed that it was extremely likely that unfiltered coffee had this effect on serum cholesterol.

After the completion of Tromsø2, it was decided to carry out a scientific experiment (The Family Intervention Study) to find out if it is possible to reduce the risk of men developing cardiovascular diseases by influencing the whole family.