Dag Thelle is a leader in cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention in Europe. He was educated at the University of Bergen, receiving his MD degree in 1966 and trained in internal medicine at the Narvik Hospital and at the Teaching Hospital of the newly opened University of Tromsø, receiving his DMedSc degree at the University of Tromsø in 1979.
In 1981-82 he took the combined course in medical statistics and epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and became Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tromsø (1984-88), then Professor of Epidemiology at the Nordic School of Public Health, Gothenburg (1988-94), and Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Oslo from 1994-99. In 1999-2002 he was Professor of Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Prevention at the University of Gothenburg, then returned to become Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Oslo, where, since 2006, he is also Professor of Quantitative Medicine.
Thelle was Principal Investigator of the Tromsø Study, 1974-88, of the Oslo Health Study conducted in 2000-1, and of the INTERGENE Study conducted in Gothenburg and West Sweden from 2001-4.
Thelle participated in the creation and activities of the Working Group on Epidemiology and Prevention of the European Society of Cardiology. He is renowned as a teacher and from 1992-2000 was Co-director of the 10-Day International Teaching Seminars of the World Heart Federation.