Peter Friberg


School of Public Health and Community
Visiting address
Hälsovetarbacken 7, plan 3
41390 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 453
40530 Göteborg

About Peter Friberg

Main research

Stress and resilience in adolescents. Long-term consequences for development of hypertension and psychological ill-health

Stress and mental ill-health in adolescents are highly prevalent. Repeated stress may result in augmenting risk for hypertension, obesity and future cardiovascular disease (CVD). The high prevalence of hypertension and mental dysfunction is now the top risk factors for overall disease burden. Less is known about factors that promote resilience, i.e. individual’s ability to recover from stress, thus reducing the risk for CVD. Further, there is urgent need for effective interventions to slow the increasing prevalence of psychosocial stress and poor mental health in adolescents.

Our overall aim is to study how high stress and low resilience in adolescents, perceived differently in resource-poor and -rich areas with large gaps in health equity, is associated with future psychological ill-health and hypertension. This topic involves studies of adolescents in Sweden, Kenya and South Africa.

We recently established a cohort of 2287 13-year olds recruited from 54 schools in 16 municipalities in VGR. The STudy of Adolescence Resilience and Stress (STARS) was designed as a longitudinal and observational study with baseline examination at the age of 13 years, three follow-up examinations at ages of 15, 18 and 23 years, and thereafter by connecting our own data to data from Swedish epidemiological databases to study long-term health consequences. Thus, using a life course approach, we want to study self-perceived stress, psychosocial factors, resilience and physical consequences of chronic stress such as high blood pressure. Further, we want to study effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention in strengthening adolescents’ socio-emotional resilience and coping with stress.

Rapid global rising in adolescent health risks for later-life CVD requires an unprecedented extent of coordination and intersectoral collaboration. By bringing together expertise in areas ranging from individual health care to societal perspectives, we want to establish a unique long-term scientific platform to provide relevant data, identify mechanisms and relevant treatment to prevent/reduce the burden of stress, hypertension and mental ill-health.

The link to the Royal Academy of sciences includes work with promoting global health research and education with the aim to strengthen the Swedish resource base in this area. Special emphasis is here given to maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health and rights.

Group members

  • Ann-Katrine Karlsson, Med. Lic., research nurse
  • Eva Gronowitz, PhD, researcher
  • Gun Bodehed Berg, Research nurse
  • Katarina Laundy Frisenstam, Psychologist, PhD student
  • Victoria Belin Benninge, MD, PhD student
  • Yun Chen, Associate Professor
  • Johan Dahlstrand, MSc, PhD student
  • Maria Corell, MSc, PhD student
  • Sifia Lindblom, MSc, PhD student
  • Peter Friberg, Professor/senior consultant

Collaboration and funding

ALF, Swedish Research Council, Västra Götalandregionen, Public Health Agency, EU.

Key publications

Ho S, Javadi D, Causevic S, Langlois EV, Friberg P, Tomson G. Intersectoral and integrated approaches in achieving the right to health for refugees on resettlement: a scoping review. BMJ Open. 2019 Jul 1;9(7):e029407.

Chen Y, Osika W, Dangardt F, Friberg P. Impact of psychological health on peripheral endothelial function and the HPA-axis activity in healthy adolescents. Atherosclerosis. 2017 Mar 9. pii: S0021-9150(17)30102-8. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2017.03.012. [Epub ahead of print]

Olbers T, Beamish AJ, Gronowitz E, Flodmark CE, Dahlgren J, Bruze G, Ekbom K, Friberg P, Göthberg G, Järvholm K, Karlsson J, Mårild S, Neovius M, Peltonen M, Marcus C. Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in adolescents with severe obesity (AMOS): a prospective, 5-year, Swedish nationwide study. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2017 Mar;5(3):174-183. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30424-7. Epub 2017 Jan 6.

Laundy Frisenstam K, van den Bosch M, Chen Y, Friberg P, Osika W. Self-Reported Psychosomatic Complaints In Swedish Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults Living in Rural and Urban Areas: An Internet-Based Survey. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2017 Mar 7;3(1):e9. doi: 10.2196/publichealth.5902.

Friberg P, Wall S, Blomstedt Y, Beaglehole R, Bonita R, Stordalen G, Byass P. Public and global engagement with global health. The Lancet. 2013 Jun 15;381(9883):2066. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61206-4.

Dangardt F, Chen Y, Berggren K, Osika W, Friberg P. Increased rate of arterial stiffening with obesity in adolescents: a five-year follow-up study. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57454. doi: 10.1371.

Frida Dangardt, Yun Chen, Eva Gronowitz, Jovanna Dahlgren, Peter Friberg, and Birgitta Strandvik. Omega-3 Supplementation in Physiological Doses Alters Muscle Lipids and Improves Glucose Tolerance in Obese Adolescents. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism 2012, doi:10.1155/2012/395757.

Chen Y, Dangardt F, Osika W, Berggren K, Gronowitz E, Friberg P. Age- and sex-related differences in vascular functions and vascular response to mental stress. Longitudinal and cross-sectional studies in a cohort of healthy children and adolescents. Atherosclerosis. 2012 Jan;220(1):269-74. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Dangardt F, Osika W, Chen Y, Nilsson U, Gan LM, Gronowitz E, Strandvik B, Friberg P. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation improves vascular function and reduces inflammation in obese adolescents. Atherosclerosis. 2010 Oct;212(2):580-5. Epub 2010 Jul 21

Chen Y, Osika W, Dangardt F, Gan LM, Strandvik B, Friberg P. High levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, insulin resistance and saturated fatty acids are associated with endothelial dysfunction in healthy adolescents. Atherosclerosis 2010, Aug;211(2):638-42. Epub 2010 Mar 16.