Physical Health and Ageing
The Department of Physical Health and Ageing researches conditions such as osteoporosis, fractures, hearing and pain and examines factors affecting the ageing process. The department oversees the institute’s national responsibility for monitoring the population's diet.
The department uses data from registers and health studies, often in combination with biological material, to fulfil its responsibilities and tasks. Advanced statistical methods are used in the research. The department works closely with the Department of Chronic Diseases.
Diet and nutrition
A varied and healthy diet is important to promote health and prevent disease. The department assesses the diet in the population in general and in different population groups, and monitors trends in the diet over time. We also take a closer look at some topics, such as salt, iodine, vitamin D, diet among the elderly, sustainable diet, and evaluation of measures to improve the population’s diet.
The overall disease burden of pain is significant at both young and old age and is a dominant cause of sickness absence certified by a doctor in Norway. In its research, the department has focus on long-term pain and understanding of possible causal mechanisms. Development of innovative and user-friendly methods for mapping pain is also part of the initiative.
The hearing function decreases with increasing age, and with an ageing population, we expect more hearing-impaired people. The department works to map changes in incidence and produce new knowledge about underlying risk factors for, and consequences of, hearing loss.
Osteoporosis and fractures
Norway has among the highest incidence rates of hip fractures worldwide, and the fracture burden has been forecasted to increase with the ageing of the population. We study time trends, excess mortality, geographic and seasonal variations, and lifestyle-related risk factors.
Norwegian data indicate that a higher proportion than expected has dementia or pre-stages of dementia. We contribute to mapping the prevalence of dementia over time. The department produces knowledge about biological and social causal and protective factors for dementia.
Higher life expectancy and lower birth rates lead to a larger proportion of older people. The department uses life cycle data and data from population studies and registers to study trends and identify causal and protective factors for a healthy and self-sufficient old age.
The department uses large register links in research and has a high level of competence in analysis methods and study design. The department monitors developments in advanced methods in epidemiology, including methods for causal inference in observational studies.
Communication and dissemination
The research and monitoring in the department are communicated to the ministry and directorate, through e.g. thematic reports, and we contribute to the municipalities' public health profiles and chapters in the Public Health Report. The research is disseminated through scientific articles in national and international journals, through popular science articles on the website of the National Institute of Public Health and in the media.
Haakon Eduard Meyer
Senior Medical Officer and Professor (UiO)
- Mob: +47 480 82 702
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