Vascular ageing, diabetes and cognitive decline in the Malmö population-based cohorts with perspectives of family traits based on gene-environmental interactions

Projekt: Forskning


Principal investigator; Nilsson, Peter, Professor, MD/PhD
Clinical speciality: Medicine
Phone: +4640332415, +46704503456

Co-workers, Lund University: Engström Gunnar, Melander Olle, Nilsson Jan, Persson Margaretha

International networks: EU Interreg IV project 2011-2013 in cardiovascular research and infrastructures between Denmark and Sweden.

Research area/areas: Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems, Endocrinology and Diabetes, Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

A positive family history of early onset chronic disease is a strong risk factor for the same condition also in offspring, exemplified by cardiovascular disease, obesity or type-2 diabetes. This could be due to genetic or epigenetic factors or a shared family background according to lifestyle, diet, psychosocial factors or other conditions of importance. In order to design better strategies for prevention of chronic disease or its complications a better understanding of family traits of these disorders is needed, taking into account a broad range of genetic and environmental factors, as well as gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions including epigenetic imprinting.
The Malmö Diet Cancer study (MDC)included 28,000 subjects. During the period 2007 to 2012, a follow-up screening study with a physical examination, technical investigations and cognitive testing has been ongoing in a subset of the MDC cohort, called the MDC-Cardiovascular (MDC-CV) study, with 6100 subjects at baseline 1992-1996 (mean age 57 years, 2/3 women) and at present 3,682 subjects being fully re-examined between 2007-2012.

The general aim of the study is to map factors of importance for family traits of chronic disease in offspring of parents participating in the Malmö Diet Cancer Cardiovascular Arm cohort. These risk factors will include genetics, epigenetics, biomarkers, vascular imaging, family history, medical history, lifestyle and social aspects. A second aim is to link factors in the parents (generation 1) to adverse risk factors, vascular changes, cognitive function and prognosis in the offspring (generations 2 and 3).
A third aim is to use the national Multi-generation register to evaluate the family burden of chronic disease, based on data not only in parents and children but also in siblings and other close relatives. The offspring cohort also represents in itself a new cohort for future follow-up studies.

We hope that further knowledge in this field could help targeting of preventive efforts in the future, focusing on aspects of vascular ageing (arterial stiffness) and cognitive decline as well as impaired glucose metabolism in families.

Link to project homepage:


1. Gottsäter M, Östling G, Persson M, Engström G, Melander O, Nilsson PM.
Non-hemodynamic predictors of arterial stiffness after 17 years of follow-up: the
Malmö Diet and Cancer study. J Hypertens. 2015 May;33(5):957-65.
2. Nilsson ED, Elmståhl S, Minthon L, Nilsson PM, Pihlsgård M, Tufvesson E, Nägga
K. Nonlinear association between pulse wave velocity and cognitive function: a
population-based study. J Hypertens. 2014 Nov;32(11):2152-7.
3. Rosvall M, Persson M, Östling G, Nilsson PM, Melander O, Hedblad B, Engström
G. Risk factors for the progression of carotid intima-media thickness over a
16-year follow-up period: the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study. Atherosclerosis. 2015 Apr;239(2):615-21.
4. Hansen K, Östling G, Persson M, Nilsson PM, Melander O, Engström G, Hedblad B, Rosvall M. The effect of smoking on carotid intima-media thickness progression rate and rate of lumen diameter reduction. Eur J Intern Med. 2016 Mar;28:74-9.
5. Enhörning S, Wang TJ, Nilsson PM, Almgren P, Hedblad B, Berglund G, Struck J,
Morgenthaler NG, Bergmann A, Lindholm E, Groop L, Lyssenko V, Orho-Melander M, Newton-Cheh C, Melander O. Plasma copeptin and the risk of diabetes mellitus. Circulation. 2010 May 18;121(19):2102-8.

Populärvetenskaplig beskrivning

Blodkärlens åldrande har samband med såväl hjärtkärlsjukdom som med åldersdiabetes. Vi önskar studera dessa samband inom familjer och använder oss av tre generationer i Malmö Familjestudie som pågår sedan 2013 och där f.n. 2200 Malmö-bor är undersökta. Vi mäter även kostintag samt bakterieförekomst i munhåla och tarm för att sedan analysera samband med ämnesomsättning och kärlfunktion. Här spelar såväl genetiska faktorer som olika miljöfaktorer en roll.
Kort titelEVA and families; the Malmö Offspring Study
Gällande start-/slutdatum2013/03/042020/12/22