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Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology

This research group employs a broad specter of approaches towards studies on gene-environment interactions and life course epidemiology, as well as studies on disease occurrence and their risk factors.

Photo: Anbjørg Kolaas

Our wide variety of research topics, listed below, is a reflection of this diversity. The group members are also involved in other research groups with more defined research areas.

Each Tuesday we host the scientific seminar “Epi-forum”. The seminar series raises methodological topics within the field of epidemiology and preventive medicine. At Epi-forum, we discuss drafts for scientific articles, and give PhD students an arena to present their research.

What is Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine?


Epidemiology is the theoretical foundation we use to describe the occurrence of diseases and the correlation between living conditions, environmental conditions, hereditary conditions and health. Within the field of epidemiology, we also use quantitative methods to evaluate the effect of different treatments and preventative activities.

The methodology used is designed to provide valid (unbiased) information from groups of individuals, for the purpose of testing hypotheses and finding characteristics in the health of the population. Epidemiological data provides the quantitative basis for public health policy and clinical practice, and is the foundation for preventive measures in public health work.

Epidemiology today constitutes a significant part of medical scientific activity. Epidemiological methods are associated with the planning, implementation, statistical analysis and interpretation of a significant part of surveys within social medicine.

Preventative Medicine

Preventive medicine includes the study of how physical, mental and social environments affects the health of the population, and which environmental impacts and behaviours are most important to our health.

Influences and behaviours possible to do something about, is of most importance. The preventative work may be directed towards the entire population or subgroups of the population, including unprivileged, weak groups in society.

About then Group

This group has been involved in number of national health surveys: Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa); Helseundersøkelsen i Oslo (HUBRO); Norwegian Epidemiologic Osteoporosis Studies (NOREPOS); Interaksjon av gener og miljø ved demens (GENIDEM); Forløp og risikofaktorer for demens (TRAILDEM); and Ungdom 2004.

We have also been involved with the international surveys: Global Burden of Disease (GBD); NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC); European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE).

Countries in which we have conducted research are Malawi, Somaliland, Palestine, China (Tibet) and Myanmar.

Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, has since 2010 been affiliated with the group as a guest professor.

Research Topics

  • Register Epidemiology
  • Life Course Epidemiology 
  • Family Based Studies
  • Communicable Diseases and Infection Control
  • Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) 
  • Elderly health
  • Osteoporosis and fractures
  • Health and Climate, geography and air pollution
  • Asthma 
  • Cardiovascular Risk Factors
  • Mental Health, including Old Age Dementia
  • Occupational Health
  • Insurance Medicine 
  • Skin Diseases
  • Social Inequality in Health
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Vitamin D and Health 
  • Physical Activity and Health
  • Health in Low- and Middle Income Countries
  • Minority Health 
  • Ethnicity and Health
  • Sexual Health 
  • Gender and Health 
  • Health Promotion 
  • Health Literacy 
  • Conflict, Peace and Health 
  • Suicide 
Tags: Global South
Published Feb. 23, 2011 2:02 PM - Last modified Aug. 31, 2020 3:17 PM