EpiLife is involved in a large number of international research collaborations, in Europe and beyond. Within Sweden, EpiLife researchers from the University of Gothenburg are engaged in many external collaborations at the national, regional and local levels. These collaborations are described below, for each work area.
The PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiologic) study is a prospective cohort study to track changing lifestyles, nutrition, risk factors and chronic disease in urban and rural areas of 15 different countries at various levels of economic development. Started in 2005, this international study of societal determinants of health has collected data on 4153 Swedish urban and rural men and women. Globally, there is data on more than 150,000 people, mainly from low- and middle income countries. PURE is in some respects a successor to the INTERHEART study, which collected data on nearly 30,000 cases and controls from 52 countries from all major regions of the world and which has provided unique insight into determinants of cardiovascular health from a societal perspective. Studies on the effect of SES have, so far, only been done in high-income countries. Data collection for a new case-control study of risk factors for stroke – INTERSTROKE – was completed in 2013.
Representative populations of elderly individuals have been followed longitudinally from age 70 (H70-study) and age 85 (H85-study) until age 105 or death and examined with extensive psychiatric examinations. Also PPSW includes individuals above age 70 who have been followed longitudinally. This gives the opportunity to examine the frequency of mental disorders in old age, and its risk factors and prognosis. We also examine the utility of different diagnostic criteria to detect individuals with mental disorders (collaboration with Prof Johannes Wancata, Vienna). Other collaborations are with Dr Paul Duberstein, Rochester, regarding the influence of personality factors. The studies are also included in the European Union's concerted action on depression in the elderly, organised by the University of Liverpool, (Prof. John Copeland). The aim is to compare the frequency of depression in different European countries and to study risk factors in pooled data. A total of 22 000 individuals in 12 countries are included. EpiLife researchers will have access to the database for studies of psychotic symptoms, suicidal feelings and sleep disorders.
International and national collaborations include:
• IDEFICS and I.Family: a survey of obesity and lifestyle among children in eight European countries and an obesity preventive intervention
• WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative: a survey of overweight, obesity and lifestyle among children in 14 European countries
• EPIC, European Investigation Into Cancer and University of Honolulu, Hawaii: associations between eating patterns and cardiovascular risk factors
• Swedish NMR Center, nutritional metabolomics
• Lunds universitet, Uppsala universitet, Livsmedelsverket: validering och jämförelse av två kostundersökningsmetoder
• Cornell University: evaluation of dietary intervention among overweight/obese women postpartum
• Livsmedelsverket: Release of toxic products into breast milk among women losing weight
• The Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, Cambridge
• Prospective Studies Collaboration, Oxford
• Global Burden of Disease Collaboration group
• Policy Approaches to Children's Health (PATCH), USA: community based participator research (CBPR)
• The Norwegian Mother and Child Study: to study development of obesity in women during the reproductive cycle
• EPINOR, Tromsø, Norway
• Monica, The Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen
• The DIPPS study
• ARC, Stockholm
• CHESS, Stockholm
• The Västerbotten study (VIP): studies of dietary determinants of obesity in middle-aged women
• VIP-studien i Västerbotten: Dietary intake of saturated fat among Swedes: patterns over time
• Umeå University and Lund University: mid-life environmental exposures (e.g. cadmium and mercury) in relation to development of diabetes and other obesity-related diseases later in life
This work package has external collaborations including: the Cashe County Memory Study in Logan, Utah (PI Katherine Welsh-Bohmer, Duke University) the Swedish Twin Study of the Oldest-Old twins and Dementia in Twins (Margaret Gatz, USC, USA and Nancy Pedersen, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm), Dept of Individual and Family Studies and Biobehavioral Health, Penn State University, Dept. of Psychology, Oregon State University (Scott M. Hofer), Dept. of Mental Hygiene, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; Dept. of Neurology, Klinikum Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich; Dept. of Neurology, University of Florence; Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; Institute of Social Psychiatry and Epidemiology, London, and Dalhuise University, Halifax, Canada. Researchers participating in this workpackage are also involved in the Brain Power project, which is a national collaboration on neurodegenerative disorders among leading researchers in Sweden. We are also engaged in the new AGECAP Forte Center at the University of Gothenburg.