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Approved Research

The role of lifestyle including physical activity, pain, -omics biomarkers and genetics in cardiovascular disease and kidney function

Principal Investigator: Dr Christoph Nowak
Approved Research ID: 81508
Approval date: July 27th 2022

Lay summary

Cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack, and kidney diseases cause significant suffering and early death across the world. Preventing these diseases, including the identification of high-risk groups in the population who might benefit from early interventions, is paramount to improving population health.

We aim to study the role of lifestyle factors (such as physical activity), pain (with a focus on chronic pain), so-called biomarkers (small molecules measured in biological samples and fluids), and genes for the occurrence and progression of cardiovascular diseases and kidney diseases.

Our main objectives are to identify risk markers that might pinpoint high-risk groups in the population, to identify potential new drug targets for prevention and treatment, and to find factors that causally affect these diseases and might therefore be modified in order to reduce disease risk.

The project is expected to last 6 years and is expected to identify new treatment targets and risk markers that can be developed further to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with some of the most common and debilitating diseases in the population, including heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.

Scope extension:

We aim to study the observational association and possible causal relationship between cardiovascular diseases and kidney diseases and

- lifestyle factors (with a focus on physical activity)

- pain (with a focus on chronic pain)

- biomarkers (blood biochemistry, proteomics, metabolomics etc.)

- genetics

- metabolic markers (such as urinary sodium)

- in order to discover novel risk/prognostic markers, potential treatment targets, and new insights in cardiorenal pathology.


We would also like to also add analyses on the association between:

-Lung function (spirometry data) and the development of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and mortality