Haakon E. Meyer

Professor and Senior Medical Officer


University of Oslo and Norwegian Institute of Public Health


The main emphasis has been epidemiological studies on osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures. A number of risk factors that are also important for other diseases have been studied, including body weight, vitamin D and other nutritional factors. A broad spectrum of study designs have been used, including large prospective cohort-studies, case-control studies, cross-sectional studies and randomized controlled trials. Principal investigator of a large double blinded trial studying if a low dose of vitamin D in nursing home residents could prevent osteoporotic fractures.



Basic profession

Medical doctor

Academic degrees



Risk Factors for Hip Fracture – Epidemiological studies in middle-aged and old Norwegian women and men (1996)

Professional experience

• Professor, University of Oslo (current)
• Senior Medical Officer, Norwegian Institute of Public Health (current)
• Chair, National council for nutrition (scientific advisory board appointed by the Ministry of Health), incl. extensive dissemination activity (2006-12)
• Member of NOREPOS steering committee (2001-)
• Member of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Task Force on Osteoporotic Fracture Secondary Prevention (2011-12)
• Member, expert group on vitamin D, revision, Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (2012-13).
• Program board, The Public Health Programme, Research Council of Norway (2006-10)
• Member, Research committee, Norwegian osteoporosis foundation (2003-05)
• Member, expert group, Clinical guidelines for prevention and treatment of Osteoporosis (Norwegian Directorate of Health) (2003-05)
• Member, National scientific board, Muskelskjelettsatsningen, Nasjonal samarbeidsgruppe for helseforskning (2012-)

International collaboration

• Visiting scientist at Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, collaborating with professor Walter Willett and professor Edward Giovannucci (2014-15, part time)
• Six months sabbatical at School of Population Health, University of Auckland, New Zealand in 2007-08 (head, professor Rod Jackson, cardiovascular epidemiologist).
• International cooperation concerning osteoporosis includes Professor Paul Lips, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Professor John A Eisman, Garvan Institute, Sydney, Australia (affiliated to University of New South Wales); Professor Bo Abrahamsen, Institute of Clinical Research, SDU, Gentofte Hospital, Denmark; Professor Karl Michaëlsson, Uppsala University, Sweden.
• Participation in the EU funded European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study
• Involvement in international pooled analyses utilizing data from major randomized trials on vitamin D

Peer review

Epidemiology, Bone, Journal of Internal Medicine, American Journal of Human Biology, International Journal of Epidemiology, Obesity Research, Tidsskrift for den norske lægeforening, Norsk epidemiologi, Controlled Clinical Trials, Journal of Women’s Health, Osteoporosis International, Public Health Nutrition, British Medical Journal, Archives of Internal Medicine, European Journal of Epidemiology, Diabetologia, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, American Journal of Epidemiology, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention


Selected publications (osteoporosis & vitamin D)

1. Meyer HE, Tverdal A, Falch JA. Risk factors for hip fracture in middle aged Norwegian women and men. Am J Epidemiol 1993;137:1203 1211

2. Meyer HE, Henriksen C, Falch JA, Pedersen JI, Tverdal A. Risk factors for hip fracture in a high incidence area: A case control study from Oslo, Norway. Osteoporosis International 1995;5:239 246

3. Meyer HE, Tverdal A, Falch JA. Body height, body mass index, and fatal hip fractures: 16 years’ follow up of 674,000 Norwegian women and men. Epidemiology 1995;6:299 305

4. Meyer HE, Tverdal A, Falch JA. Changes in body weight and incidence of hip fracture among middle aged Norwegians. BMJ 1995;311:91 92

5. Meyer HE, Falch JA, O’Neill T, Tverdal A, Varlow J. Height and body mass index in Oslo, Norway, compared to other regions of Europe: do they explain differences in the incidence of hip fracture? European Vertebral Osteoporosis Study Group. Bone 1995;17:347 350

6. Meyer HE, Pedersen JI, Løken EB, Tverdal A. Dietary factors and the incidence of hip fracture in middle-aged Norwegians: A prospective study. Am J Epidemiol 1997;145:117-123

7. Kaastad TS, Meyer HE, Falch JA. Hip fracture incidence in Oslo, Norway: Differences within the city. Bone 1998;22:175-178

8. Falch JA, Meyer HE. Osteoporose og brudd i Norge: Forekomst og risikofaktorer. Tidsskr Nor Lægeforen 1998;118:568-572 (Oversiktsartikkel)

9. Meyer HE, Tverdal A, Selmer R. Weight variability, weight change, and the incidende of hip fracture: A prospective study of 39,000 middle-aged Norwegians. Osteoporosis International 1998;8:373-378

10. Forsén L, Bjartveit K, Bjørndal A, Edna TH, Meyer HE, Schei B. Ex-smokers and risk of hip fracture. American Journal of Public Health 1998;88:1481-1483

11. Forsén L, Meyer HE, Søgaard AJ, Næss S, Schei B. Edna TH. Mental distress and risk of hip fracture. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 1999;53:343-347

12. Forsén L, Søgaard AJ, Meyer HE, Edna TH, Kopjar B. Survival after hip fracture: Short- and long-term excess mortality according to age and gender. Osteoporosis International 1999; 10:73-78

13. Forsén L*, Meyer HE*, Midthjell K, Edna TH. Diabetes mellitus and the incidence of hip fracture. Results from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Survey. Diabetologia 1999;42:920-925. * The first two authors contributed equally to this work

14. Meyer HE, Tverdal A, Falch JA, Pedersen JI. Factors associated with mortality after hip fracture. Osteoporosis International 2000; 11:228-32

15. Osnes EK, Lofthus CM, Falch J, Meyer HE, Stensvold I, Kristiansen IS, Nordsletten L. More postoperative femoral fractures with the Gamma-nail than the sliding screw plate in the treatment of trochanteric fractures. Acta Orthop Scand 2001; 72:252-56

16. Lofthus CM, Osnes EK, Falch J, Kaastad TS, Kristiansen IS, Stensvold I, Nordsletten L, Meyer HE. Epidemiology of hip fractures in Oslo, Norway. Bone 2001; 29:413-18

17. Meyer HE, Smedshaug GB, Kvaavik E, Falch JA, Tverdal A, Pedersen JI. Can vitamin D supplementation reduce the risk of fracture in the elderly? A randomised controlled trial. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2002; 17:709-15

18. Meyer HE. Calcium and osteoporotic fractures. British Journal of Nutrition 2004; 91: 505-506

19. Osnes EK, Lofthus CM, Cappelen I, Meyer HE, Nordsletten L, Falch JA, Kristiansen IS. Consequences of hip fracture on activities of daily life and residential needs. Osteoporosis International 2004; 15:567-74

20. Meyer HE, Falch JA, Søgaard AJ, Haug E. Vitamin D deficiency & Secondary Hyperparathyroidism and the association with Bone Mineral Density in Persons with Pakistani and Norwegian Background Living in Oslo, Norway. The Oslo Health Study. Bone 2004; 35:412-417

21. Meyer HE, Berntsen GKR, Søgaard AJ, Schei B, Fønnebø V, Langhammer A, Forsmo S, Tell GS. Higher Bone Mineral Density in Rural compared to Urban Dwellers. The NOREPOS study. Am J Epidemiol 2004 160:1039-46

22. Alvær K, Meyer HE, Falch JA, Søgaard AJ. Bone mineral density in ethnic Norwegians and Pakistani immigrants living in Oslo—The Oslo Health Study. Osteoporosis International 2005; 16:623-30

23. Lofthus CM, Cappelen I, Osnes EK, Falch JA, Kristiansen IS, Medhus AW, Nordsletten L, Meyer HE. Local and national electronic databases in Norway demonstrate a varying degree of validity. J Clin Epidemiol 2005; 58:280-5

24. Lofthus CM, Osnes EK, Meyer HE, Kristiansen IS, Nordsletten L, Falch JA. Young patients with hip fracture: A population-based study of bone mass and risk factors for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis International 2006; 17:1666-1672

25. Alvær K, Holvik K, Søgaard AJ, Falch JA, Meyer HE. Vitamin D-mangel, sekundær hyperparatyreoidisme og bentetthet hos pakistanere og nordmenn bosatt i Oslo. Nor J Epidemiol 2006; 16:111-117

26. Holvik K, Meyer HE, Søgaard AJ, Selmer R, Haug E, Falch JA. Biochemical markers of bone turnover and their relation to forearm bone mineral density in persons with Pakistani and Norwegian background living in Oslo, Norway. The Oslo Health Study. Eur J Endocrinology 2006; 155:693-699

27. Søgaard AJ, Gustad TK, Bjertness E, Tell GS, Schei B, Emaus, N, Meyer HE. Urban-rural differences in distal forearm fractures – Cohort Norway. Osteoporosis International 2007; 18:1063-72

28. Gjesdal CG, Vollset SE, Ueland PM, Refsum H, Meyer HE, Tell GS. Plasma homocysteine, folate and vitamin B12 and the risk of hip fracture. The Hordaland Homocysteine Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2007:22: 747-56

29. Holvik K, Madar AA, Meyer HE, Lofthus CM, Stene LC. A randomized comparison of increase in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration after four weeks of daily oral intake of 10 µg vitamin D3 from multivitamin tablets or fish oil capsules in healthy young adults. British Journal of Nutrition 2007;98: 620-625

30. Alver K, Meyer HE, Falch JA, Nafstad P, Søgaard AJ. Outdoor air pollution and bone mineral density in elderly men – The Oslo Health Study. Osteoporosis International 2007; 18:1669-1674

31. Holvik K, Meyer HE, Søgaard AJ, Haug E, Falch JA. Pakistanis living in Oslo have low serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D but higher serum ionized calcium levels compared with ethnic Norwegians. The Oslo Health Study. BMC Endocrine Disorders 2007; 7:9

32. Lofthus CM, Frihagen F, Meyer HE, Nordsletten L, Melhuus K, Falch JA. Epidemiology of distal forearm fractures in Oslo, Norway. Osteoporosis International 2008; 19:781-6

33. Omsland TK, Emaus N, Gjesdal CG, Falch JA, Tell GS, Forsen L, Berntsen GKR Meyer HE. In Vivo and In Vitro Comparison of Densitometers in the NOREPOS-study. Journal of Clinical Densitometry 2008; 11:279-82

34. Meyer HE, Søgaard AJ, Falch JA, Jørgensen L, Emaus N. Weight change over three decades and the risk of osteoporosis in men. The Norwegian Epidemiological Osteoporosis Studies (NOREPOS). Am J Epidemiol 2008; 168:454-6

35. Forsén L, Berntsen GKR, Meyer HE, Tell GS, Fønnebø V. Differences in precision in bone mineral density measured by SXA and DXA. The NOREPOS Study. European Journal of Epidemiology 2008; 23:615-24

36. Meyer HE, Lofthus CM, Søgaard AJ, Falch JA. Change in the use of hormone replacement therapy and the incidence of fracture in Oslo. Osteoporosis International 2009; 20:827-830

37. Omsland TK, Gjesdal CG, Falch JA, Emaus N, Tell GS, Meyer HE. Regional differences in bone mineral density levels in Norway. The NOREPOS study. Osteoporosis International 2009; 20:631-8.

38. Omsland TK, Schei B, Grønskag A, Langhammer A, Forsén L, Gjesdal CG, Meyer HE. Weight Loss and Distal Forearm Fractures in Postmenopausal Women. The Nord-Trøndelag Health Study. Osteoporosis International 2009; 20:2009-16

39. DIPART Group: Abrahamsen B, Masud T, Avenell A, Anderson F, Meyer HE, Cooper C, Smith H, LaCroix AZ, Torgerson D, Johansen A, Jackson R, Rejnmark L, Wactawski-Wende J, Brixen K, Mosekilde L, Robbins JA, Francis RM. Patient level pooled analysis of 68 500 patients from seven major vitamin D fracture trials in US and Europe. BMJ 2010;340:b5463

40. Lofthus CM, Medhus AW, Meyer HE. Database validity in assessing population trends in hip fracture rates in Canada. JAMA. 2010 Jan 13;303(2):134-5 (Letter)

41. Devold HM, Doung GM, Tverdal A, Furu K, Meyer HE, Falch JA, Sogaard AJ.. Prescription of anti-osteoporosis drugs during 2004-2007 – a nationwide register study in Norway. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2010; 66:299-306

42. Alver K Alver K, Meyer HE, Falch JA, Søgaard AJ. et al. Outdoor air pollution, bone density and self-reported forearm fracture: the Oslo Health Study. Osteoporos Int 2010 2010;21:1751-60

43. Omsland TK, Ahmed LA, Grønskag A, Schei B, Emaus N, Langhammer A, Joakimsen RM, Jørgensen L, Søgaard AJ, Gjesdal CG, Meyer HE. More forearm fractures among urban than rural women – the NOREPOS study based on the tromsø study and the HUNT study. J Bone Miner Res. 2011; 26:850-6 (doi: 10.1002/jbmr.280.)

44. Madar AA, Klepp KI, Meyer HE. The effect of tailor-made information on vitamin D status of immigrant mothers in Norway: A cluster randomized controlled trial. Maternal and Child Nutrition 2011; 7:92-99 DOI: 10.1111/j.1740-8709.2009.00238.x

45. Høstmark AT, Søgaard AJ, Alvær K, Meyer HE. The Oslo Health Study: A dietary index estimating frequent intake of soft drinks and rare intake of fruit and vegetables is negatively associated with bone mineral density. J Osteoporos. 2011; 2011: 102686.

46. Støen RO, Nordsletten L, Meyer HE, Frihagen F, Falch J, Lofthus C. Hip fracture incidence is decreasing in the high incidence area of Oslo, Norway. Osteoporos Int 2012; 23:2527-34. DOI: 10.1007/s00198-011-1888-3

47. Holvik K, Madar AA, Meyer HE, Lofthus CM, Stene LC. Changes in the vitamin D endocrine system and bone turnover after oral vitamin D3 supplementation in healthy adults: results of a randomised trial. BMC Endocrine Disorders 2012, 12:7 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6823/12/7

48. Omsland TK, Holvik K, Meyer HE, Center JR, Emaus N, Tell GS, Schei B, Tverdal A, Gjesdal CG, Grimnes G, Forsmo S, Eisman JA, Søgaard AJ. Hip fractures in Norway 1999-2008 – time trends in total incidence and second hip fracture rates. A NOREPOS study. European Journal of Epidemiology 2012; 27:807-14 DOI: 10.1007/s10654-012-9711-9

49. Søgaard AJ, Meyer HE, Ahmed LA, Jørgensen L, Bjørnerem Å, Joakimsen RM ,Emaus N. Does recalled dieting increase the risk of non-vertebral osteoporotic fractures? The Tromsø Study. Osteoporos Int 2012; 23:2835-45. DOI: 10.1007/s00198-012-1916-y

50. Rejnmark L, Avenell A, Masud T, Anderson F, Meyer HE, Sanders KM, Salovaara K, Cooper C, Smith HE, Jacobs ET, Torgerson D, Jackson RD, Manson JE, Brixen K, Mosekilde L, Robbins JA, Francis RM, Abrahamsen B. Vitamin D with calcium reduces mortality: patient level pooled analysis of 70,528 patients from eight major vitamin D trials. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2012; 97:2670-81. DOI:10.1210/jc.2011-3328

51. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Willett WC, Orav EJ, Lips P, Meunier PJ, Lyons RA, Flicker L, Wark J, Jackson RD, Cauley JA, Meyer HE, Pfeifer M, Sanders KM, Stähelin HB, Theiler R, Dawson-Hughes B. A pooled analysis of vitamin D dose requirements for fracture prevention. N Engl J Med 2012;367:40-9. http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa1109617

52. Meyer HE, Robsahm TE, Bjørge T, Brustad M, Blomhoff R. Vitamin D, season and risk of prostate cancer: a nested case-control study within Norwegian health studies. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2013; 97: 147-154 doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.039222

53. Finnes TE, Meyer HE, Falch JA, Medhus AW, Wentzel-Larsen T, Lofthus CM. Secular reduction of excess mortality in hip fracture patients >85 years. BMC Geriatrics 2013, 13:25 doi:10.1186/1471-2318-13-25 http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2318-13-25.pdf

54. Omsland TK, Emaus N, Tell GS, Ahmed LA, Center JR , Nguyen ND, Gjesdal CG, Forsmo S, Schei B, Søgaard AJ, Meyer HE. Ten-year risk of second hip fracture. A NOREPOS study. Bone. 2013 Jan;52(1):493-7

55. Devold HM, Søgaard AJ, Tverdal A, Falch JA, Furu K, Meyer HE. Hip fracture and other predictors of anti-osteoporosis drug use in Norway. Osteoporos Int. 2013 Apr;24(4):1225-33. doi: 10.1007/s00198-012-2063-1.

56. Dahl C, Søgaard AJ, Tell GS, Flaten TP, Hongve D, Omsland TK, Holvik K, Meyer HE, Aamodt G. Nationwide data on municipal drinking water and hip fracture: Could calcium and magnesium be protective? A NOREPOS study. Bone 2013; 57:84-91 doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2013.06.017

57. Holvik K, Ahmed LA, Forsmo S, Gjesdal CG, Grimnes G, Samuelsen SO, Schei B, Blomhoff R, Tell GS, Meyer HE. Low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D predict hip fracture in the elderly. A NOREPOS study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2013; 98:3341-50. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-1468.

58. Lamberg-Allardt, Brustad M, Meyer HE, Steingrimsdottir L. Vitamin D – A systematic Literature Review for the 5th edition of the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations. Food & Nutrition Research 2013. 57: 22671 http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v57i0.22671

59. Ahmed LA, Center JR, Bjørnerem A, Bluic D, Joakimsen RM, Jørgensen L, Meyer HE, Nguyen ND, Nguyen TV, Omsland TK, Størmer J, Tell GS, van Geel TA, Eisman JA, Emaus N. Progressively increasing fracture risk with advancing age following initial incident fragility fracture. The Tromsø Study. J Bone Miner Res. 2013 Oct;28(10):2214-21. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1952.

60. Dahl C, Søgaard AJ, Tell GS, Flaten TP, Hongve D, Omsland TK, Holvik K, Meyer HE, Aamodt G. Do cadmium, lead and aluminum in drinking water increase the risk of hip fractures? A NOREPOS study. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2014 Jan;157(1):14-23. doi: 10.1007/s12011-013-9862-x. Epub 2013 Nov 29.

61. Knutsen KV, Madar AA, Lagerløv P, Brekke M, Raastad T, Stene LC, Meyer HE. Does vitamin D improve muscle strength in adults? A randomized, double-blind,placebo-controlled trial among ethnic minorities in Norway. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2014; 99:194-202 (Epub ahead of print November 2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2013-2647

62. Øyen J, Gjesdal CG, Nygård OK, Lie SA, Meyer HE, Apalset EM, Ueland PM, Pedersen ER, Vollset SE, Tell GS. Smoking and body fat mass in relation to bone mineral density and hip fracture: the Hordaland Health Study. PLoS One. 2014; 9: e92882 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092882.

63. Finnes TE, Lofthus CM, Meyer HE, Eriksen EF, Apalset EM, Tell GS, Torjesen P, Samuelsen SO, Holvik K. Procollagen type 1 Amino-terminal Propeptide (P1NP) and risk of hip fractures in elderly Norwegian men and women. A NOREPOS study. Bone 2014; 64:1-7 doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2014.03.010.

64. Søgaard, AJ, Holvik K, Omsland TK, Tell GS, Dahl C, Schei B, Falch JA, Eisman JA, Meyer HE. Abdominal obesity increases the risk of hip fracture. A population-based study of 43 000 women and men aged 60-79 years followed for 8 years. Cohort of Norway. J Intern Med. 2015;277:306-17. doi:10.1111/ joim.12230

65. Brustad M, Meyer HE. Vitamin D – hvor mye er nok, og er mer bedre for helsa? Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening 2014;134:726-8

66. Omsland TK, Emaus N, Tell GS, Magnus JH, Ahmed LA, Holvik K, Center J, Forsmo S, Gjesdal CG, Schei B, Vestergaard P, Eisman JA, Falch J, Tverdal A, Søgaard AJ, Meyer HE. Mortality following the first hip fracture in Norwegian women and men 1999-2008. A NOREPOS study. BONE 2014; 63: 81-86

67. Holvik K, Gjesdal CG, Tell GS, Grimnes G, Schei B, Apalset EM, Samuelsen SO, Blomhoff R, Michaelsson K, Meyer HE. Low serum concentrations of alpha-tocopherol are associated with increased risk of hip fracture. A NOREPOS study. Osteoporos Int. 2014; 25:2545-54. doi: 10.1007/s00198-014-2802-6.

68. Madar AA, Knutsen KV, Stene LC, Brekke M, Meyer HE, Lagerløv P. Effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fructosamine, serum lipids, and body mass index: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial among healthy immigrants living in Norway. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2014 13;2(1):e000026

69. Knutsen KV, Madar AA, Brekke M, Meyer HE, Natvig B, Mdala I, Lagerløv P. Effect of vitamin D on musculoskeletal pain and headache: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial among adult ethnic minorities in Norway. Pain 2014 Dec;155(12):2591-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2014.09.024.

70. Meyer HE, Holvik K, Lips P. Uncertainties page: Should vitamin D supplements be recommended to prevent chronic diseases?” BMJ. 2015 Jan 29;350:h321. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h321

71. Madar AA, Knutsen KV, Stene LC, Brekke M, Lagerløv P, Meyer HE, Macdonald HM. Effect of vitamin D3-supplementation on bone markers (serum P1NP and CTX): a randomized, double blinded, placebo controlled trial among healthy immigrants living in Norway. Accepted for publication. Bone Reports 2015;2:82-88.

72. Solbakken SM, Magnus JH, Meyer HE, Emaus N, Tell GS, Holvik K, Grimnes G, Forsmo S, Schei B, Søgaard AJ, Omsland TK. Impact of comorbidity, age and gender on seasonal variation in hip fracture incidence. A NOREPOS study. Arch Osteoporos. 2014;9:191. doi: 10.1007/s11657-014-0191-2. Epub 2014 Aug 19.

73. Educational Inequalities in Post-Hip Fracture Mortality. A NOREPOS Study. Omsland TK, Eisman JA, Næss Ø, Center JR, Gjesdal CG, Tell GS, Emaus N, Meyer HE, Søgaard AJ, Holvik K, Schei B, Forsmo S, Magnus JH. J Bone Miner Res. 2015 Jun 17. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.2579. [Epub ahead of print]

74. Cashman KD, Dowling k, Skrabakova Z, Kiely M, Lamberg-Allardt C, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Sempos CT, Koskinen S, Lundqvist A, Sundvall J, Linneberg A, Thuesen B, Husemoen LLN, Meyer HE, Holvik K, Grønborg IM, Tetens I, Andersen R. Standardizing serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D data from four Nordic population samples using the Vitamin D Standardization Program protocols: shedding new light on vitamin D status in Nordic individuals. Scandinavian Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Investigation (accepted)

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Norwegian Epidemiologic Osteoporosis Studies | E-mail: norepos@fhi.no