The information content of the register comprises baseline and follow-up questionnaires, information collected during health check-ups by occupational health nurses of the occupational health services as well as the information of the personnel register of the City of Helsinki, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), the National Institute for Health and Welfare, and the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Statistics Finland.
The information content of the registers used in the study and the time period during which the information is used are described in more detail below.
During the follow-up, the survey data, information from the health check-ups as well as information on sickness absence, sociodemographic factors and residential areas in the personnel register of the City of Helsinki will be combined on those research participants who have given their informed consent for the linkage. The information will be combined with computers of the University of Helsinki. In addition, during the follow-up, permission to use and to combine register information with the survey and health check-up data are requested from the register holders (the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Kela, the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Statistics Finland). A separate application with the research plan is submitted to each register data holder. The information is mainly combined with a computer of the University of Helsinki. The persons whose information is registered have been informed that the register information will be combined with the survey and the check-ups performed by an occupational health nurse. Information is requested and combined with the survey responses only if the respondents have given their informed consent for combining the information.
In the register study section of the Helsinki Health Study, information in the personnel register of the City of Helsinki is combined with information obtained from other registers. In this case, the survey responses are not used.
The module files of the study are
1. Address register, content: name, work address, home address and social security number.
2. Survey. In the baseline phase, data were collected in three phases in 2000, 2001 and 2002. The first follow-up survey was conducted in 2007 and the following surveys in 2012 and 2017 (for the new cohort, the 2017 survey is the baseline survey). In 2022, new follow-up surveys will be conducted.
3. Information collected at health check-ups for specific age groups performed by occupational health nurses. Collection of this information started in January 2000 and ended in the beginning of 2003.
4. Information in the personnel register of the City of Helsinki. The City has shared register data with the project starting from 1990. In the future, information will be requested annually for as long as the project is ongoing.
5. Register information from the register data holders. Information is requested mainly starting from 1990 until the end of the follow-up (until 2025, when the need for further follow-up will be re-assessed).
National Institute for Health and Welfare: Care Registers for Social Welfare and Health Care (HILMO), the Finnish Cancer Registry
Kela: information on prescribed and reimbursed prescription medicines purchases, information on rights for special reimbursement for medicines and information on daily sickness benefits and rehabilitation with diagnoses.
The Finnish Centre for Pensions: information on pensions started. In addition: Reasons for incapacity. Negative pension decisions and pre-decisions on employment pension and rehabilitation (type of pension, pension sector and pensions act, date of the adoption of the decision, reason for the rejection, diagnoses for disability pensions)
Statistics Finland: mortality and causes of death, education, socioeconomic status, occupational status and information on employment and income.
The time period during which the information is used
The register information is combined with the survey both retrospectively (time before answering the survey) and during the follow-ups (after answering the survey). Retrospective information is important because health and functional capacity is also explained by socioeconomical status, earlier state of health and sickness absence.
The information is combined with survey responses based on permissions requested separately from the register data holders for the period during which the information is recorded in the registers. The follow-up continues until 2025, after which the need for further follow-up is re-assessed. During the follow-up, updates to the register data are obtained from the register data holders once a year or once in two years.
At the moment, the above-mentioned information is available, and will be combined with the survey data based on informed consent, from the following time periods:
1. Personnel register of the City of Helsinki: since 1990
2. National Institute for Health and Welfare: Care Registers for Social Welfare and Health Care (HILMO) since 1990, the Finnish Cancer Registry since 1953
3. Kela: since 1990
4. The Finnish Centre for Pensions: since 1990
5. Statistics Finland: since 1990
Helsinki Health Study
In 2017, you took part in a survey carried out by the Department of Public Health of the University of Helsinki. The survey investigated the health and well-being of the employees of the City of Helsinki. We thank you for your participation and invite you to participate in the follow-up survey.
This follow-up phase is targeted to all participants of the first phase of the study, regardless of their current job or possible lack of employment. The aim of this follow-up survey is to find out how the health, well-being, and functioning of the study population have changed during the intervening years, and which factors have contributed to them. By participating in the study, you help us gain valuable information in order to improve the health and well-being of the working-age population.
Your participation is voluntary. However, every answer we receive is highly important for the success of the study. Employees of the City of Helsinki may fill in the questionnaire during their working hours. The information you provide is treated in the strictest confidence. The data is disclosed solely in accordance with our data ptotection statement and used for scientific purposes only.
We invite you to fill in the attached questionnaire and return it fully filled-in within a week’s time in the enclosed envelope. Alternatively, you can fill in the questionnaire online using the personal login details that can be found at the top of the letter. Ten randomly selected participants will be gifted an S Group gift card worth €50.
For more information on participating in the survey, you can contact project planner Jade Knop, MSocSc (050 438 6163), the email address firstname.lastname@example.org or the undersigned. You can also learn more about the study on our website.
Thank you for your effort!
Professor, head of research group
Faculty of Medicine
PO Box 20 (Tukholmankatu 8 B)
00014 University of Helsinki
Phone: 029 41 27544
Professor, deputy head of research group
Faculty of Social Sciences
PO Box 54 (Unioninkatu 37)
00014 University of Helsinki
Phone: 029 41 24593
The study uses register data following the requirements and principles of data protection laws (Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK), Statistics Finland (Tilastokeskus), Social Insurance Institution (Kela), National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), and the City of Helsinki (Helsingin kaupunki)). I consent combining the survey responses with the register data. I understand that participation is voluntary and that I can withdraw my consent at any time.