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Karl Mårild

Affiliated to research

Department of
Pediatrics
Visiting address
Drottning Silvias barn- och ungdomssjukhus, Rondvägen 10
416 50 Göteborg

About Karl Mårild

Epidemiology and clinical manifestations of celiac disease and inflammatory bowel diseases

I am a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital and associate professor of Pediatrics at the Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy. I currently hold a half-time 4-year research position funded under the ALF-agreement; my research has also received funding from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) and Swedish Society for Medical Research ("SSMF"), among others.

My research has foremost taken advantage of registers and large-scale cohorts of Nordic countries to examine early life risk factors for immune-mediated diseases (IMDs), initially for celiac disease and type 1 diabetes, and more recently inflammatory bowel diseases; these conditions share etiological and epidemiological traits, including a rising prevalence in past decades. I have also successfully studied the clinical consequences of celiac disease and inflammatory bowel diseases.

After my dissertation at Örebro University, I moved my research to Karolinska Institutet in 2012. Through international fellowships (2014-2017), I have since teamed with experienced epidemiologists from Nordic and U.S. research centers, some of who are partners in the projects described below.

Current work – International and national collaboration

My main research focus is to coordinate the Nordic birth cohort study PREVENT-IBD, which examines early-life environmental risk factors for Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). After a rising incidence over the past decades, IBD now affects 0.5% of Western populations, and is an emerging disease globally. There is ample evidence that the early life environment contributes to IBD, however the nature of such factors is poorly defined, which partly relates to a scarcity of sufficiently powered, prospective data from population-based cohorts. We will address these challenges by analyzing birth cohort data on some 135,000 children followed, from birth (1996-2009) throughout 2020, in the ABIS (Sweden), DNBC (Denmark) and MoBa (Norway) cohorts for development of IBD. If successful, knowledge gained from this unique data may be translated into preventive measures against IBD.

SICK – Serological Identification of Celiac disease in Kids – is a feasibility study of celiac screening in general pediatric outpatient clinics in the Gothenburg metropolitan area. Related to this research, I also examine the clinical management of celiac disease with the aim to provide evidence-based recommendations for its follow-up.

My research also includes LOGIC, a multipronged approach aimed at providing population-based, longitudinal data on growth before and after screening- respectively symptom-detected celiac disease. Impaired growth is a common manifestation of celiac disease. Therefore, knowledge gained from this project may through improved growth monitoring lead to earlier identification of the disease.

Finally, I am part of a large international collaboration (involving chiefly researchers from Karolinska Institutet, Columbia University and Harvard University) studying inflammatory bowel diseases and celiac disease epidemiology within the Swedish register- and histopathology-based ESPRESSO cohort.

Funding: The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), Swedish Society for Medical Research ("SSMF"), ALF Västra Götaland, Bengt Ihres fond, FoU Västra Götaland, Svenska Läkaresällskapet