Published: 30-01-2024 15:16 | Updated: 01-02-2024 07:44

Dissertation: Modifiable risk factors, blood proteins, and venous thromboembolism

Welcome to Shuai Yuan's doctoral thesis defence on March 8 at 9:30 in Samuelssonsalen, Tomtebodavägen 6

Three questions for Shuai Yuan

What is the thesis about?
As an under-recognized disorder of the circulatory system, venous thromboembolism (VTE) inflicts over 10 million people globally each year and associates with an increased mortality. Leveraging data from large-scale population-based cohorts and biobanks, this thesis aims to decipher the complexity between major modifiable risk factors, circulating proteins, and the risk of VTE, particularly unprovoked VTE, and therefore to provide evidence support for VTE prevention and treatment. 

Can you tell us about some interesting results?
We found obesity, in particular abdominal adiposity, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, excessive ultra-processed food intake, cigarette smoking, and insomnia were associated with heightened risk of VTE. Many blood proteins, including von Willebrand factor, coagulation factor XI, prekallikrein, prothrombin, protein C, protein S, and annexin II were causally associated with VTE risk and had high potential of druggability. Body mass index and von Willebrand factor appeared to have a similar importance in VTE risk prediction. Several proteins, in particular annexin II and coagulation factor XI, mediated the associations of obesity, smoking, and insomnia with VTE.

What further research is needed in the area?
Future studies should delve deeper into the mechanisms by which obesity, smoking, and insomnia impact the levels of key proteins like annexin II and coagulation factor XI. Intervention studies are crucial to ascertain if modifying these risk factors can indeed change protein levels and, consequently, VTE risk. As our understanding of the relationship between modifiable risk factors, blood proteins, and VTE grows, there is an opportunity to develop targeted therapeutic interventions and predictive tools that can better address and prevent VTE.

Link to thesis: Modifiable risk factors, blood proteins, and venous thromboembolism

About the dissertation

Time: 8 March at  9.30
Location: Samuelssonsalen, Tomtebodavägen 6

Principal Supervisor
Susanna C. Larsson, Associate professor, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet

Agneta Åkesson, Professor, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet
Maria Bruzelius, Associate professor, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet

Bengt Zöller, Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University



Shuai Yuan Phd Student