Women's lifestyle and health - research on lifestyle, viruses and cancer

The overall goal of the project is to create preventive measures against cervical cancer by improving mass screening and investigating the impact of the HPV vaccine.
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We look at how different lifestyle habits (such as smoking, contraceptive and sexual habits) can affect the risk of getting cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases and to what extent the introduction of the HPV vaccine may have affected women's lifestyle and health.

Knowledge from this study is used to prevent cervical cancer more effectively and to improve health services for women.

Data basis

This is a study of the female population in Norway who were aged 18-45 years when they participated in a questionnaire survey. In 2004-2005 and in 2011-2012, the women were sent a questionnaire that dealt with sexual behaviour, lifestyle habits, medical history and attitudes to cervical cancer screening. The sample consisted of a total of 52,000 women, of whom 59% responded to the questionnaire. The women were randomly drawn from the National Registry.

The same survey also took place in Sweden, Iceland and Denmark.

For those who participated in the study

In 2017, the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK) approved that data from the survey can be linked to additional Norwegian registries, and the study can currently be linked to the Norwegian Prescription Database, the Norwegian Patient Registry, the Medical Birth Registry, Statistics Norway, the National Immunisation Registry, the National Registry and the Cancer Registry of Norway. Furthermore, the study period has been extended to 31.12.2025. Similar changes have been made for the studies in Sweden, Denmark and Iceland, so that we can still combine data from several countries. The changes have been made in order to investigate possibilities for more personalised screening against cervical cancer.

Did you submit a questionnaire and have questions about the study, or wonder how privacy is taken care of? Find answers by visiting frequently asked questions.


The questionnaire data are now in the process of being linked to data from the Nordic cancer registries. The purpose is to analyze behavioral risk factors for cancer.

A number of articles have already been published. See below.

Selected publications

Hansen BT, Kjaer SK, Arnheim-Dahlstrøm L, Liaw KL, Jensen KE, Thomsen LT, Munk C, Nygård M (2014). Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and subsequent sexual behaviour: Evidence from a large survey of Nordic women. Vaccine. 2014 Jul 18. DOI 10.1016

Hansen BT, Kjaer SK, Arnheim-Dahlström L, Liaw KL, Juul KE, Thomsen LT, Frederiksen K, Elfström KM, Munk C,         Nygård M (2019)
Age at first intercourse, number of partners and sexually transmitted infection prevalence among Danish, Norwegian and Swedish women: estimates and trends from nationally representative cross-sectional surveys of more than 100 000 women
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand
doi 10.1111/aogs.13732PubMed 31529491

Thomsen LT, Nygård M, Stensen S, Terning Hansen B, Arnheim Dahlström L, Liaw KL, Munk C,    Kjaer SK (2017)   
Awareness of human papillomavirus after introduction of HPV vaccination: a large population-based survey of Scandinavian women
Eur J Cancer Prev, 26 (2), 170-178
PubMed 27010329

Klungsøyr Ø, Nygård M, Skare G, Eriksen T, Nygård JF (2009). Validity of self-reported Pap smear history in Norwegian women.
J Med Screen 2009, June 29

Kjær SK et al. The burden of genital warts: a study of nearly 70,000 women from the general female population in the 4 Nordic countries.
J Infect Dis 2007 Nov 15