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University of Gothenburg
Hjärtröntgen genomförs.
Photo: Malin Arnesson

Cardiovascular diseases

Can artificial intelligence predict heart failure? You can read more about the Institute of Medicine’s research on cardiovascular diseases below. Our research is both clinical and epidemiological. We also run the national population study SCAPIS on cardiovascular and lung research, and participate in several international studies.

Our research areas

Here at the Institute, we are developing knowledge of topics ranging from “broken heart syndrome”to why low educational attainment is associated with elevated heart attack and stroke risk.

We conduct both clinical, patient-based studies and epidemiological research in the following areas:

  • chronic heart failure
  • congenital heart defects
  • heart surgery
  • how sex hormones affect the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • how we can improve and make risk assessment for cardiovascular diseases more individualised
  • “broken heart syndrome” (Takotsubo syndrome or stress cardiomyopathy)
  • acute heart failure.
Magnified blood vessels.
Magnified blood vessels.
Photo: Malin Arnesson

Research on the international front

At the Institute of Medicine, heart research on the international front line is in progress. Our researchers are leading major studies such as the Swedish Cardiopulmonary Bioimage Study (SCAPIS) ,in collaboration with the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation. One exciting current joint project with Chalmers University of Technology is aimed at finding out whether AI can be used to predict myocardial infarction, heart failure and sudden death. Our scientists have also helped to establish the concept of RRCT (Randomised Registry Clinical Trials) around Sweden.

In addition, several clinical treatment studies are under way in SWEDEHEART (Swedish Web-system for Enhancement and Development of Evidence-based care in Heart disease Evaluated According to Recommended Therapies), the national quality registry platform.

Our researchers have a broad international contact network and are involved in several worldwide studies. For instance, we lead the Swedish part of the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study, which is exploring international variation in cardiovascular disease patterns by studying 200,000 people from some 20 countries.

In the 1970s and ’80s, our researchers were the first in the world to describe how beta blockers and ACE inhibitors can save the lives of people with heart failure. This discovery was made by Finn Waagstein and Åke Hjalmarsson, but Karl Swedberg too played a vital role in the context. The discovery revolutionised cardiac care and these medicines became standard treatment. Beta blockers are estimated to have reduced mortality by some 30%.

Important research findings

  • Establishment of the beta-blocker concept for treating myocardial infarction (Åke Hjalmarsson)
  • Establishment of the beta-blocker concept for treating heart failure (Finn Waagstein)

Close connection between research and education

There is close cooperation between the Institute’s research and our education and training, in which many of our researchers too are involved. They supervise doctoral students and teach on our regular programmes, freestanding courses and vocational care programmes within Sahlgrenska Academy.

Our education