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Public Health and Community Medicine

The group working in the area of public health epidemiology consists of researchers from different disciplines including nutritional epidemiology, general practice, statistics, and clinical dietetics. Organizationally, these researchers are affiliated with the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine within the Institute of Medicine. Physically the group is located on Hälsovetarbacken, building 7, and is administratively functioning with the General Practice Unit (Enheten för allmänmedicin).

Some general research objectives of this group are:

  • To document health developments in the population with attention to differences between earlier & later born birth cohorts. Examples include surveillance of obesity in school children; comparison of cardiovascular and mental health in middle-aged cohorts; and comparison of health indicators in earlier vs later born elderly populations. These comparisons are often referred to as studies of “secular trends”. 
  • To employ longitudinal data from prospective population studies to document the role of lifestyle indicators in various disease etiologies. These factors include diet, physical activity, socioeconomic status, smoking & alcohol, mental stress, as well as interactions with genetic susceptibility.
  • To maintain a special focus on women’s health issues, including gender comparisons (when possible) and in studies of only women, to conduct descriptive and comparative studies of women’s lives across generations and over the life course.

Specific methodological objectives include:

  • Development of better instruments to collect valid data on exposures of interest, i.e. diet, physical activity, body composition etc.
  • Utilization of improved statistical methods to study long-term exposures over multiple examinations, in relation to health outcomes late in life.
  • Optimized use bio banks as well as social, medical and other registries to study newly identified exposures in relation to a variety of health outcomes. Additional registry data will be used in the ascertainment of exposures and outcomes in non-participants and drop-outs.


Work area 3: Overweight and obesity over the lifecourse

Selected publications from our group:
Mehlig K, Skoog I, Guo X, Schütze M, Gustafson D, Waern M, Ostling S, Björkelund C, Lissner L. Alcoholic beverages and incidence of dementia: 34-year follow-up of the prospective population study of women in Goteborg. Am J Epidemiol 2008 Mar 15;167(6):684-91.

Sjöberg A, Lissner L, Albertsson-Wikland K, Mårild S. Recent anthropometric trends among Swedish school children: evidence for decreasing prevalence of overweight in girls. Acta Paediatrica 2008;97(1):118-23.

Eiben G, Dey DK, Rothenberg E, Steen B, Björkelund C, Bengtsson C, Lissner L. Obesity in 70-year-old Swedes – secular changes over 30 years in relation to lifestyle. Int J Obes 2005;29:810-7.

Lissner L, Troiano RP, Midthune D, Heitmann BL, Kipnis V, Subar AF, Potischman N. OPEN about Obesity: recovery biomarkers, dietary reporting errors, and BMI. International Journal of Obesity 2007;31:956-61.

Zylberstein DE, Bengtsson C, Björkelund C, Landaas S, Sundh V, Thelle D, Lissner L. Serum homocysteine in relation to mortality and morbidity from coronary heart disease – a 24 year follow-up of the Population Study of Women in Gothenburg Circulation 2004;109(5):601-6.

Page Manager: Katarina Englund|Last update: 4/8/2013

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