University of Gothenburg
Happy children from Vietnam.
Photo: Larm Rmah, Unsplash

Global public health

How does the distribution of resources affect human health? What strategies will increase equality and improve global public health? These are just a few of the questions our researchers are seeking to answer.

Our research

Our researchers study global public health from a broad perspective. The research group consists of about 30 people with different expert knowledge. Together they conduct population-based, clinical and molecular epidemiological studies, as well as registry and surveillance studies.
More information about the Global Public Health Research Group here

The goal is to improve global public health by studying the complex interactions between biological, material and social factors that influence population health development. With the help of this knowledge, researchers can identify and develop strategies that promote health and prevent diseases. Also, our researchers are studying broader structures that affect human health, such as health care, public health policies and human rights.

Our research areas:

  • Sexual and reproductive health and intimate partner violence
  • Ageing and wellbeing in low- and middle-income countries
  • Social determinants of health, health equality and equity
  • The epidemiology of non-communicable diseases 
  • Communicable diseases, epidemiological surveillance and modelling
  • Health promotion, health policy and development studies
  • Migration and health with a focus on children, women and families
  • Nutrition, lifestyle and health

Ongoing studies

Several major studies are currently underway at the Institute of Medicine. Our researchers participate in projects around the world, including the CARTA project which focuses on supporting research and research environments in Africa. Another project is the SIDA-funded study on undernutrition in mothers and children in Rwanda and the study on poverty and deteriorating health of the elderly in Myanmar.
More information about ongoing studies in the Global Public Health research group

Important findings

In the i.Family study, we examining lifestyle patterns, including sleep, diet, physical activity.  We found that:

  • only one third of children and adolescents meet suggested sleep guidelines
  • children are more likely to have a healthy weight status when there is no television in their bedrooms
  • families and children need to be informed of the risks of unhealthy eating and, more importantly, the benefits of healthy eating
  • TV advertising is a major factor encouraging children to eat unhealthy foods
  • we need to address inequalities in access to physical activity if we want to reduce health inequalities in young people in Europe
  • the study provides the strongest evidence to date that large numbers of young people across Europe have less chance of achieving these health benefits because of their age, gender, where they live or the household they live in

Using the WHO Study on Global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) dataset, we observe a strong association between visual impairment and late-life depression among older Chinese adults. A substantial proportion of the effects of visual impairment on depression are mediated by material factors, psychosocial factors and behavioural factors, which may serve as relevant points of entry for developing intervention programmes to improve the mental health conditions of visually-impaired people. 

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.

Read more about our education