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Chronic inflammation and cardiovascular risk

Project description

Unravelling the role of inflammation in cardiovascular disease manifestation

Preventive therapies can stave off or delay the occurrence of cardiovascular disorders if individuals at risk are identified on time. Inflammation drives the development of cardiovascular disease, but routine screening of inflammatory markers to assess cardiovascular risk in the general population is not yet an option. The goal of the EU-funded INF-CVD project is to investigate the associations between a range of chronic inflammatory conditions and different types of cardiovascular disorders using one of the world's largest available longitudinal healthcare datasets. A better understanding of cardiovascular risks associated with chronic inflammation may help create guidelines and put the focus on patients at risk, for whom screening and treatment are likely to prevent the occurrence of the disease.

Objective

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and illness globally. Preventive therapies can avoid or delay the occurrence of cardiovascular events, provided that one can identify individuals at risk and intervene before problems manifest. Recent scientific developments have established that inflammation has a prominent role in the development of cardiovascular diseases; but routine screening of inflammatory markers to assess cardiovascular risk in the general population is currently unfeasible. It is known however that certain diseases cause high and chronic inflammation, and patients affected by these conditions may be at increased risk of cardiovascular events. Yet, studies so far have been limited by the relatively modest absolute numbers of patients affected, so that for many of these conditions evidence is insufficient to guide clinical decisions.
The aim of this research proposal is to investigate the associations between a range of chronic inflammatory conditions and different types of cardiovascular disorders, by using one of the largest longitudinal healthcare datasets available for research purposes in the world. The study design leverages the potential of ‘big data’ to explore complex disease associations through a unique combination of skills – my own knowledge of epidemiology and experience with the studied data set; my host supervisor’s expertise in statistical models best suited for the analysis of longitudinal data; and interdisciplinary clinical expertise through an international network of collaborations.
A better understanding of cardiovascular risks associated with chronic inflammatory conditions may help guidelines and clinicians to focus on patients for which screening and treatments are more likely to have an effect, and improve the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Differences between conditions may further point towards biological functions underlying these complications and inform the design of future research.

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Coordinator

KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Net EU contribution
€ 178 320,00
Address
Oude markt 13
3000 Leuven
Belgium

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Region
Vlaams Gewest Prov. Vlaams-Brabant Arr. Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00