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INSEF aims to improve the health of Portuguese population by supporting activities at national and regional levels. These activities include the assessment of the population´s health status, the monitoring and evaluation of health programs and promotion of scientific research.

Specific objectives are:

1) collect regional and national data in 2014 and 2015;

2) analyse, report and disseminate findings in 2015/2016;

3) promote the use of the collected data in local, regional and national programs;

4) strenghten INSEF at national and regional level;

5) promote international cooperation.



INSEF is developed by the National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge, I.P. (INSA, I.P.), in partnership with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and in close collaboration with all the five Regional Health Administrations (ARS) (North, Centre, Lisbon and Tagus Valley, Alentejo and Algarve) and the two Regional Health Secretariats from the Autonomous Regions of Azores and Madeira.


The National Health Examination Survey (INSEF) is being developed as part of the project “Improvement of epidemiological health information to support public health decision and management in Portugal. Towards reduced inequalities, improved health and bilateral cooperation”, funded by the Public Health Initiative Program, within the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (EEA Grants) 2009-2014 and by the Protuguese Government. The project benefits from a 1.500.000€ Grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants.



Seven Health Centers from each region will be randomly selected, stratified by region and typology of urban area with allocation proportional to the populations´ size. Following, 215 individuals from a list of patients assigned to each health center will be selected so at least 90 interviews are achieved.

Informed Consent

Potential participants will first receive an invitation letter explaining the study and inviting them to participate. Later, they will be contacted by phone to confirm their participation and to schedule the interview and physical exam. After signing the Informed Consent form, the physical examination, the blood sample collection and the questionnaire will be carried out.

Informed consent

Physical Examination

It will involve the measurement of blood pressure, weight, height as well as measuring the waist and hip circumference.


                         Physical examination: blood pressure                                  Physical examination: height measurement  

Blood Sample Collection

A blood sample will be also collected from each participant to measure glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), total HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood count without leucocyte formula. Plasma, serum and DNA, obtained from the remaining blood, will be stored to create a Biobank at INSA which is highly relevant to support the sustained scientific and technical activities across multiple areas of Life Sciences and Health, enabling the centralization and sharing biological material and information with the national and international scientific community, according to rules of access and use internationally defined.

Blood sampling


The questionnaire is the last step of the procedure. It consists of 23 sections with different questions related to the demographic and socio-economic characterization of the participant, self-perception of health status, chronic disease, functional assessment, temporary disability, oral health, medication and health services use (preventive care, medicine use and health services usage), health determinants and behaviours. The applied questionnaire will be similar to those previously used in the National Health Surveys and in the pilot study of the European Health Examination Survey.



Your participation will contribute to gather knowledge that aims to benefit you, your family as well as the entire population. In addition, the results of the physical exam and of the blood biochemical and haematological tests will be sent to your General Practitioner (GP) so he is aware of your health and will be able to intervene if needed.


INSEF was approved by the Ethics Commissions of the Regional Health Administrations, by the National Commission of Data Protection (NCDP) and by INSA Ethics Committee. Only authorized researchers will have access to all anonimazed data and biological samples.  All accesses must be supervised and previously approved by INSA Ethics Committee and a scientific Commission. Participants´ privacy and anonymity will be kept at all times. All data and material will be safely stored at INSA facilities.

We want to remind you that your participation is voluntary. You might refuse to participate at anytime, without further explanation or consequences. If you give up, your data and biological samples will be destroyed.

Your participation will contribute to gather knowledge that aims to benefit you and your family, as well as the entire population. In addition the results of the blood biochemical and haematological tests will be sent to your general practitioner (GP) so he is aware of your health and will be able to intervene if needed.




Panfleto_Profissionais de saude.pdf


Press Releases

Comunicado de Imprensa - 27 de janeiro de 2015.pdf

Perguntas e respostas.pdf



INSEF Newsletter N1

INSEF Newsletter N2

INSEF Newsletter N3

INSEF Newsletter N4

INSEF Newsletter N5