University of Oulu, 2016

Young adults belonging to the Northern Finland Birth Cohort are invited to a health examination

Over 9 000 young adults will receive an invitation to a comprehensive health survey in March or April. The test subjects belong to an extensive birth cohort of persons born in Northern Finland in 1985 and 1986. This is the cohort’s first follow-up during the test subjects’ adult life, and it will be implemented when the cohort members are between the ages of 33 and 34.

The survey will explore the cohort members’ way of life, physical health and social welfare. Persons living in Oulu and its immediate vicinity will also receive an invitation to clinical examinations which explore their physical functioning and activity, body composition and heart and lung function. An oral health examination, 3D imaging of face and teeth, and eye and hearing tests will also be conducted, and blood samples will be taken.

The ones participating in clinical examinations will receive information on the results of the tests and measurements already during the examination day. Part of the research samples, such as blood samples, will be analysed later, and the results will be sent by post.

“The test subjects will receive important information about their own health, but at the same time, they will provide information about their generation’s health in general”, Research Director Minna Ruddock from the University of Oulu says. “By comparing the results to an older cohort of persons born in 1966, we will receive valuable information about how the changes in society and the environment have influenced young adults’ health, well-being and morbidity.”

Test subjects have been monitored since the antenatal period

At the heart of the cohort study led by the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, is the health information collected from persons born in Northern Finland in 1966, 1985 and 1986. Data collection began already when the test subjects’ mothers were pregnant, and information about the over 20 000 cohort members has since been collected regularly.

The material will be used for the study of rare diseases and chronic diseases common in Finland. The objective to promote of the entire population's health and prevent diseases. The cohort studies’ results have been applied to, for instance, Current Care Guidelines.

Cohort 1986 research began in 1985. At that time, pregnant women whose due date was between 1 July 1985 and 30 June 1986, and who resided in the provinces of Oulu and Lapland in Northern Finland, were invited to participate in the study. The first data collection was attended by 9 362 mothers who gave birth to a total of 9 479 children. Information about the children was collected during pregnancy, at birth, and at the age of one through questionnaires and interviews with nurses. Later studies were carried out when the children started school, and again when they reached the age of 15 or 16.

Explore the history of the Northern Finland Birth Cohorts (in Finnish): Northern Finland Birth Cohorts. Over 50 years of history. (Issuu, Oulun yliopisto)


Further information:

Research Director Minna Ruddock
Northern Finland Birth Cohorts
Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu
tel: +358 (0)294 485 751, +358 (0)50 350 5902




Last updated: 18.3.2019