Merging HUNT data with other Norwegian registry data

With the help of the Norwegian personal number it is possible to merge HUNT data with other Norwegian  registries. To merge HUNT data with other health registries, the merging must be described in the protocol, and this must be approved of by the Regional Ethical Committee (REK). Ethical approval must be obtained irrespective of the amount or the content of variables. Also an application for information on whether or not a participant in HUNT is listed in a certain registry needs to be REK approved.

If the registry of interest is not a health register, other rules apply, which vary depending on the type of data (anonymous, deidentified, identifiable), the registry of interest and the country you apply from. The registries themselves will be able to inform you of their procedures. It can be an advantage to have a Norwegian collaborator who can help you with this.

Please note that not all registries in Norway are allowed to deliver data to researchers abroad.

Merging in practice

The usual procedure for merging one or more health registries with HUNT data is:

  1. Principal investigator (PI) applies for the use of data at the various registries of interest.
  2. When approval is obtained, PI sends to HUNT: a reference number and contact details for the  person / institute handling the case  at the registry.
  3. HUNT databank delivers a datafile with HUNT data to the PI. Each case in the file will have a unique, project -specific ID (PID). HUNT databank sends the bridge with personal number - project ID to the registry of interest.
  4. The registry creates a file with persons who participated in HUNT and sends a file from the registry to the PI - cases will have the same project specific number.
  5. PI merges the files.
For information on some national registries, please see Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Statistics Norway.


HUNT Research Centre is a part of Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Public Health and Nursing

visitor address:

HUNT Research Centre
Forskningsveien 2
7600 Levanger

Tlf: 74 07 51 80 / 74 01 92 40