FINRISK Cold-Heat Study

Project name:
The FINRISK Cold-Heat Study

Principal investigators:
Tiina Ikäheimo and Simo Näyhä

Other investigators:
The FINRISK Cold-Heat Study Group including investigators from different institutes/departments of the University of Oulu and the Institute of Occupational Health, as well as co-operation with the National Institute for Health and Welfare


  1. To determine the prevalence of cold and heat-related symptoms among the general adult population of Finland
  2. To identify susceptible populations for cold and heat related effects
  3. To assess the predictive value of these symptoms with regard to morbidity and mortality

The FINRISK Cold-Heat Study is a sub study of the National FINRISK Study, a health survey of the Finnish adult population conducted at 5-year intervals. In 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012, participants of the FINRISK main study filled in a separate questionnaire eliciting symptoms and complaints perceived in the cold (heat symptoms were asked in 2007 and 2012). The questions focused on disease-specific symptoms (e.g. chest pain), general complaints (e.g. excessive fatigue) and the temperature at which the symptoms started to emerge. Information from the cold-heat questionnaires were merged with the main study on an individual basis. The results are reported as cross-sectional prevalence figures broken down by personal characteristics and area of residence. At the second phase of the study, the survey data will be linked with the hospital discharge register and the national death records, and estimates will be provided on how individual symptoms and general complaints predict future mortality and morbidity during a lengthy follow-up time.

Ongoing projects.

Funding has been obtained previously from the Finnish Work Environment Fund for the population study on the occurrence and risk factors of frostbites. Financial support from the Finnish Work Environment Fund and the National Institute for Health and Welfare has been obtained for the study related to cardiorespiratory symptoms among hypertensive subjects. The National Institute for Health and Welfare has supported the study related to prevalence of heat-related symptoms in the general population.

Last updated: 28.6.2016