HUNT Databank contains information on the health of and samples from participants in The Nord-Trøndelag Health Study. The study was conducted in three waves of data gathering, the HUNT1 Survey (1984-1986), the HUNT2 Survey (1995-1997) and the HUNT3 Survey (2006-2008). In addition to the main studies, many additional studies were performed which also are a part of HUNT Databank today. Data collection was done with questionnaires, interviews, clinical studies and analyses of blood and urine samples. In addition HUNT Databank contains blood and urine samples stored in HUNT Biobank which can be picked and defrosted for genetic analyses and other biological markers.
Compared with other Norwegian and international population studies, the HUNT Study has the following characteristics:
- HUNT Databank includes a large amount of participants. The HUNT1 Survey had 75 000 participants, the HUNT2 Survey 74 000, the HUNT3 Survey 58 000. Many of these participated two or three times, which results in 126 000 unique individuals in HUNT Databank.
- The age range of participants is from 13 years (for HUNT1: 20 years) and up. HUNT Databank contains a relatively large group of 80+ and even 90+ participants.
- All participants were inhabitants of Nord-Trøndelag county at the time of participation, that means a limited geographical area. The population is relatively homogeneous, with less than 3% non-Caucasian, and is relatively stable, with few people moving in or out of the county. The population is in many respects representative of the whole of Norway, but does not contain any big city.
- HUNT Databank includes a large amount of health information for each participant, which makes The HUNT Study suitable for a broad range of research topics. For some participants the amount of data points (variables) is more than 1000.
- All information is linked to the Norwegian Personal Identification Number. This means that data from The HUNT Study can be linked with other Norwegians registries such as Population Registry, Medical Birth Registry, Prescription Registry, Cancer Registry, Causes of Death and local health registries from hospitals containing patient diagnoses. Linking with the Population Registry enables analyses including children, parents and even grandparents when all of the family participated in The HUNT Study.
- Strict rules for how data can be used or linked are followed to secure privacy protection, and each project needs to be approved by the regional Medical Ethical Committee, in some cases also the Data Inspectorate. Information that could identify persons directly is always erased and when needed replaced by a random number to prevent identification of individuals by researchers.
Quality in all aspects.
HUNT Research Centre has a goal to deliver quality in all aspects. Dating back to HUNT1 (1983-1986) this was a main goal, among other things by standardized clinical measurements and questionnaires. This goal was maintained in HUNT2 and HUNT3.
HUNT Research Centre has a constant focus on quality assurance of data and procedures for data delivery. One of our goals is that data will be quality checked and documented with meta data such that researchers will have a solid basis for understanding the nature of the data in many years to come.