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Chronic inflammation and cardiovascular risk

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INF-CVD (Chronic inflammation and cardiovascular risk)

Período documentado: 2019-09-16 hasta 2021-09-15

The overarching aim of this fellowship was to investigate the relationship between chronic inflammatory conditions and the incidence and severity of different types of cardiovascular disease. More specifically:
Objective 1: to quantify the association between chronic inflammatory conditions with different presentations of cardiovascular disease, and to investigate whether associations differ by type of inflammatory disease (e.g. auto-immune disease or other inflammatory disorder), age, and sex.
Objective 2: to investigate whether chronic inflammatory diseases are associated with increased severity of cardiovascular events, i.e. whether patients with chronic inflammatory diseases present higher mortality rates following a cardiovascular event compared to those without inflammatory disease.
A better understanding of cardiovascular risks associated with 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.
The research was divided into one preparation phase and three main work packages.

Preparation: This part included submitting my study protocol to the Independent Scientific Advisory Committee (see §6 Ethics), addressing any modification requests, and ensuring the data is transferred to KU Leuven. Status: Completed.
WP1 Disease phenotyping: For each cardiovascular and inflammatory condition investigated, I compiled a comprehensive list of diagnostic codes (so-called ‘phenotype’), which were needed to extract diagnoses from electronic health records. I did so following methods I have previously used and in close collaboration with my supervisor Prof. Verbakel, who is a clinician. Status: Completed.

WP2 Objective 1 and WP3 Objective 2: Each objective follows a similar research process. I have started with an in-depth literature review to identify relevant studies and synthesise a recent and comprehensive knowledge of the subject area. Then, I extracted and processed the data needed for my analysis - that is identifying the study population as defined, and extracting all exposure, covariate and outcome variables. Thereafter, I performed the statistical analysis of the data as defined in the scientific research proposal, and presented findings graphically. Status: Completed

After reviewing and synthesizing the results, I will combine these with the results of my literature review to prepare a manuscript, invite and incorporate co-authors' reviews, and submit it for publication. Further work packages ensure an optimal execution of the personal development, impact and management aspects of the fellowship. Status: Ongoing (delayed due to the covid-19 pandemic)

WP4 Training and career development refers to activities presented in section 1.2 WP5 Outreach activities to activities described in sections 2.2/2.3. Status : cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic.

WP6 Project management to activities outlined in section 3.2. Status: Completed
Scientific findings still need to be synthesized and will be published once the work has been completed. Findings have the potential to improve our understanding of long-term care and cardiovascular risk prevention among patient with autoimmune disorders. Depending on the nature of the results, the work carried out might contribute towards European public health policies in that area.
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