University of Minnesota

Goteborg Study of Men Born in 1913

Study Category: The Cohort Studies (1947-1972)
Year Begun: 1963
Location: Goteborg, Sweden
Principal Investigator: Tibblin, Gösta
External Resource: View URL


The Goteborg study of men born in 1913 examined risk factors for myocardial infarction and ischemic heart disease, uniquely limiting the study group to one age to eliminate the variations in factors associated with differing ages. The study posed the question “are there differences among groups classified as having nonfatal myocardial infarction, fatal ischemic heart disease, death from other causes, or no disease?”


The study group was recruited based on the criteria that they were born in 1913 (age 50 years at the start of the study), were still alive, and were born on a day divisible by three. Nine hundred seventy three men were invited to participate and eight hundred fifty five accepted (87 percent response) The results were first compiled after 10-year follow-up for twelve factors: parental death, blood group, smoking, coffee, physical activity during work, blood pressure, dyspnea on exertion, expiratory flow rate, overweight, blood cholesterol level, alcohol abuse, and heart rate. At the 10 year follow-up each risk factor was analyzed based on its distribution over the four groups of cardiovascular endpoint events.


Of the twelve factors investigated, smoking, alcohol intemperance, dyspnea on exertion, elevated blood pressure, elevated serum cholesterol level, and diminished peak expiratory flow rate were shown to be independently related with ischemic heart disease risk.


The study was pioneering in Sweden and in its focus on a single age, when other contemporary studies were weakened by inadequate age group sample sizes as well as the risk confounding by age. It set standards for careful surveys and cohort studies in Scandinavia and was the key study on which an enduring center of fruitful epidemiological study and prevention trials and training was built by the investigators, all within a previously strictly clinical environment. The center is still active. (FB/HB)


Gosta Tibblin, Wilhelmsen, L., Werko, L. “Risk Factors for Myocardial Infarction and Death Due to Ischemic Heart Disease and Other Causes.” American Journal of Cardiology 35, (1975):514-522.

Lennart Welin, Bresater, L.E., Hansson, P.O., Welin, C., Rosengren, A. “Insulin Resistance and Other Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease in Elderly Men. The study of Men Born in 1913 and 1923” European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, 10, no. 4 (2003): 283-288.

Gary E. Fraser. Preventive Cardiology (Oxford University Press, 1986), 302-303.