Public Defence: Trygve Berge – Hjertemedisin Trygve Berge at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Atrial fibrillation: Epidemiology and screening at 65 years – Design and cross-sectional analysis of the Akershus Cardiac Examination (ACE) 1950 Study cohort” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

Photo: Nasjonalforeningen for folkehelsen / Benjamin Ward

Trial lecture – Time and place

See trial lecture

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Mårten Rosenqvist, Department of Clinical Sciences, Karolinska institutet
  • Second opponent: Associate Professor Bente Morseth, School of sport sciences, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway
  • Chair of the committee: Associate Professor Waleed Ghanima, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Chair of defence

Professor Knut Stavem, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


Professor Arnljot Tveit, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo


Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, affecting >5% after the age of 65 years. Still, knowledge of atrial fibrillation epidemiology in Norway is scarce. As atrial fibrillation is often paroxysmal or asymptomatic, screening has been suggested to reveal unknown AF.

The Akershus Cardiac Examination (ACE) 1950 study is a cardiovascular cohort study of men and women in Akershus County, Norway, all born in 1950. A total of 3,706 individuals were enrolled (63.6% participation rate; 48.8% women). The study is carried out at the two hospitals in the region; Bærum Hospital (Vestre Viken Hospital Trust) and Akershus University Hospital.

This thesis is based entirely on the ACE 1950 study, and the first article presents the study design and baseline examinations. The second article presents cross-sectional data on the prevalence of atrial fibrillation, associated risk factors and other cardiovascular diseases at the age of 63-65 years. The prevalence of known atrial fibrillation was 4.5% (6.4% in men, 2.4% in women), higher than previously reported in this age group. Individuals with atrial fibrillation, among both sexes, were taller, heavier and had a high burden of hypertension and other cardiovascular comorbidity.

In the third article, we present results of a screening study for unknown atrial fibrillation, by two-week handheld electrocardiography (‘thumb ECG’). The study identified approximately 1% previously unknown atrial fibrillation, and was the first study to model a potential systematic screening for atrial fibrillation in a general population at the age of 65 years.

Additional information

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Published Mar. 7, 2019 2:34 PM - Last modified Mar. 12, 2019 11:05 AM