The annual statistics from the MFR are unaffected, including data on births, Caesarean sections, stillbirths etc. These statistics are available at www.fhi.no.
The recall only affects files that are built on extraction from the “Combined database” (“Samlet database”), in which all the data for the period from 1967 to the present day are collected in a single data file. The error concerns several string variables (containing multiple disease or drug codes) as well as several other variables. For many researchers these variables are not relevant. There are no reported errors in file deliveries with separate files for the periods 1967-1998 and 1999-2005 or in the so-called “Perinatal file”.
We are investigating what consequences the error may have for different users of the research files. Approximately 30 external project leaders and 20 researchers with links to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have received a letter to inform them about the case. We are working to correct the error. Therefore we have put an immediate stop on delivery of these particular research files. In the meantime, users of the data files from the MFR will be given individual assistance.