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  • Chronic Diseases


Chronic Diseases

The Department of Chronic Diseases is responsible for coordinating and conducting research and analyses of health data in the field of chronic diseases in the population.

The core tasks of the department

The department's core tasks are in epidemiological research on the prevalence and risk factors for chronic, non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lung diseases, and chronic pain. Furthermore, the department is responsible for national coordination of monitoring non-communicable diseases and associated risk factors in the population including physical activity and physical condition. Another core task at the department is responsibility for pharmaceutical epidemiological research at the Institute. We conduct academic research on drug utilization and drug safety and carry out projects on behalf of authorities in the area of pharmacoepidemiology (Post Authorization Safety studies (PASS)).

Competence profile

The department has about 20 employees with expertise in epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, statistics, medicine, pharmacy, psychology, nutrition, physiology, molecular biology, and sports science. We have thorough knowledge of different population-based health registries and surveys and high competence in applying advanced epidemiological and statistical methods in studies where such data are used.

We study the occurrence and natural history of non-communicable diseases and risk factors for these diseases. The department also studies incidence and time trends in important factors that affect health, such as physical activity, with a special focus on multimorbidity. We also study the safety and use of drugs in non-communicable diseases and pregnancy. Many projects assess the importance of socioeconomic conditions, gender, and immigrant background.

A new focus of the department is to generate knowledge about how the COVID-19 pandemic may have influenced the development of non-communicable diseases with associated risk factors. This also includes knowledge about the safety of the vaccines used during the pandemic.

Main deliveries and important partners and users of the knowledge

The department's overall purpose is to be a professional competence body for the health authorities in counselling and health analysis at the national level for the non-communicable diseases including drug utilization and safety.

The research findings are disseminated through scientific articles in national and international peer-reviewed journals, scientific lectures, popular science articles, and among other things, on the website of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and in the media. Knowledge is also communicated to the Ministry of Health and Care Services and the Norwegian Directorate of Health, for example, through the Public Health Report (Folkehelserapporten).

The department places great importance on collaboration and knowledge sharing across disciplines and the research projects include national and international partners. 

Some major projects in the department:


Switchboard: +47 21 07 70 00


Marte Handal

Mobiltelefon: +47 91 78 71 01

Visiting address

Marcus Thranes gate 6

0473 Oslo

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Postal address

Norwegian Institute of Public Health, PO Box 222 Skøyen

N-0213 Oslo

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Photo of Marte Handal

Marte Handal

Department Director

M: +47 917 87 101

Photo of Anders Engeland

Anders Engeland

"Senior researcher/Professor, Forskningsombud

M: +47 970 18 094

Photo of Chaitra Srinivas

Chaitra Srinivas

Photo of Christopher Sivert Nielsen

Christopher Sivert Nielsen

Research Professor

Tlf: +47

M: +47 994 34 302

Photo of Erle Refsum

Erle Refsum


M: +47 993 14 576

Photo of German Tapia

German Tapia

Senior researcher

Ansatt bilde

Ingeborg Hartz

Photo of Inger Kristine Holtermann Ariansen

Inger Kristine Holtermann Ariansen

Tlf: +47

M: +47 404 55 229

Photo of Ingvild Odsbu

Ingvild Odsbu

Senior researcher

Photo of Jacqueline Mallory Cohen

Jacqueline Mallory Cohen


Photo of Kari Furu

Kari Furu

Senior researcher

Tlf: +47

Ansatt bilde

Knut Eirik Dalene

Photo of Lars Christian Mørch Stene

Lars Christian Mørch Stene

Senior scientist

Tlf: +47

Photo of Lars Jøran Kjerpeseth

Lars Jøran Kjerpeseth

Medical officer

Ansatt bilde

Liv Kjeldstadli Onsrud

Ansatt bilde

Nicolai Andre Lund-Blix

Postdoctoral Researcher

Photo of Øystein Karlstad

Øystein Karlstad

Senior researcher

Tlf: +47

Ansatt bilde

Øyvind Erik Næss

Ansatt bilde

Paz Lopez-Doriga Ruiz

M: +47 450 31 495

Photo of Randi Marie Selmer

Randi Marie Selmer

Senior researcher

Tlf: +47

Photo of Svetlana Ondrasova Skurtveit

Svetlana Ondrasova Skurtveit

Senior Researcher/Professor University of Oslo

Tlf: +47

Photo of Vidar Hjellvik

Vidar Hjellvik


Tlf: +47

Ansatt bilde

Wenche Nystad

Senior researcher/Porfessor

Tlf: +47