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Prostate cancer constitutes an essential public health issue, as it is a major cause of male deaths. Early detection through an organised testing program with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and systematic biopsy is not in place in most countries due to the risk of over-diagnosis and over-treatment of low-risk cancers. Now there are two proposed approaches to tackle this problem; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the serum-based reflex test “Stockholm3”.
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Breast cancer is the most common cancer type in women globally, but there is a continuous decline in mortality rates. A partial explanation for this may be that effective treatments are being developed for subgroups of breast cancer patients. It is still challenging to optimise treatment plans for every individual.
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An observational study at Karolinska Institutet shows that babies suffering oxygen-deficiency complications at birth are almost twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease during childhood and early adulthood as those without such complications. Still, the absolute risk of cardiovascular disease is very low in young age. The findings are published in the journal The Lancet Regional Health – Europe.
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Through the ESPRESSO cohort, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, University of Newcastle, Australia, University of Washington, Seattle, and Karolinska Institutet examined the risk of cancer among 75,000 patients with a diagnosis of diverticular disease and colorectal histopathology. The paper is now published in JNCI, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
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Autistic young men and women are more affected by psychiatric conditions and have an increased risk of being hospitalized as a result of their mental illness compared with non-autistic people. Autistic women are particularly vulnerable. This is shown by researchers from Karolinska Institutet in a study published in JAMA Psychiatry.
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Hepatitis A is an acute liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV) and transmitted via the faecal-oral route through person-to-person transmission, contaminated food or water. While hepatitis A infection is mostly asymptomatic in children, the frequency and severity of symptoms increases with age, with the elderly and patients with other liver disease at risk of hospitalisation, acute liver failure and death.
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A randomized study, known by the acronym NordICC – Northern - European Initiative on Colorectal Cancer - shows colonoscopy screening reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent. The reduction is much smaller than experts previously assumed. The NordICC study is now published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
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During the Annual pediatric IBD meeting in Örebro on September 29-30, Jonas F Ludvigsson received this year’s honorary award "the Gut Feeling" SPGHN, the Swedish Association for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, amidst the cheers of the audience. The prize is awarded after voting by pediatricians in Sweden.
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Depression is common in individuals with endocrine-metabolic disorders and vice versa. In a study involving 2.2 million people in the Swedish population, researchers at Karolinska Institutet confirmed that individuals with endocrine-metabolic disorders have increased rates of depression and found that there are also higher rates of depression in their siblings. The study is published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
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Meet Johan Askling, research group leader at the Division of Clinical Epidemiology (KEP), Department of medicine, Solna.
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Audience: Medarbetare
Medicin, Solna, KEP
Infections in pregnant women have been linked to an increased risk of neurodevelopmental conditions, such as autism, in the child later in life. But it does not seem to be the infections themselves that cause autism, researchers from Karolinska Institutet show in a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry.
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Sweden initially chose a different disease prevention and control path during the pandemic than many other European countries. In June 2020, the Swedish Government established a national Commission to examine the management of COVID-19 in Sweden. In a review, Professor Jonas F Ludvigsson summarizes and comments on the findings of the commission inquiry. The review is published in Acta Paediatrica.
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In a recent study researchers from Karolinska Institutet, among others, have characterised the new omicron variant BA.2.75, comparing its ability to evade antibodies against current and previous variants. The study, published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, suggests that BA.2.75 is not more resistant to antibodies than the currently dominating BA.5, which is positive news.
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Esophageal cancer is the seventh most common cancer world-wide and a lethal malignancy causing a considerably high number of deaths. There is currently no promising method for prevention, early detection, or screening of esophageal cancer so most patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage, which is associated with a poor prognosis.
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Svenska Läkaresällskapet (The Swedish Medical Society, SLS) has decided to award Professor Jonas F Ludvigsson at Karolinska Institutet with the society's prestigious Jubilee Award. The prize winner is awarded SEK 150,000 and the SLS century medal in silver.
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In a new thesis from the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Chen Wang used nationwide Swedish register data to assess the long-term health of children conceived with assisted reproductive techniques (ART) and attempted to develop prediction models of pregnancy complications among women undergoing ART.
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The Swedish Military Conscription Register contains data on some 2 million individuals. Conscripts underwent extensive testing, data that can be used in epidemiological research. Now researchers from Karolinska Institutet, Uppsala University and Lund University publish a review about the register in the European Journal of Epidemiology.
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In precision medicine, predicting the risk of an event during a specific period may help, for example, to identify patients that need early preventive treatment. Modern machine learning (ML) techniques are therefore ideal for building these predictions.
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Severe acute COVID-19 is very rare in children, but SARS-CoV-2 infection can trigger a novel post infectious condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). MIS-C is a potentially serious condition, and so far, little has been known on risk factors for developing MIS-C.
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End-stage liver disease (ESLD), including advanced liver cirrhosis and primary liver cancer, is the final stage of long-standing injury to the liver due to risk factors such as chronic viral hepatitis and alcoholic liver disease. There is a high disease burden and mortality globally, especially in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries such as Ghana, where the primary cause of HCC and cirrhosis is infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV).
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5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs), Finasteride and Dutasteride, are commonly used to treat lower urinary symptoms in older men with benign prostate hyperplasia. There has long been concern that these drugs may increase the risk of more aggressive forms of prostate cancer. In a new study recently published in JAMA Oncology, researchers at Karolinska Institutet found no increased risk of dying from prostate cancer for men treated with the drugs and lower risk with longer treatment duration.
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Microscopic colitis is the most recently recognized inflammatory condition of the large intestine in which abnormal reactions of the immune system cause inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. At present, more than 10,000 people in Sweden are estimated to be living with the disease. Previously, insufficient awareness and knowledge of microscopic colitis have led to underdiagnosis of the disorder, leaving patients untreated.
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A study from Karolinska Institutet and the Nordic cancer registries shows that cancer notification rates declined in the Nordic countries during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in April-May 2020 compared to previous years. In the fall of 2020, the cancer rates recovered in Denmark, Norway and Iceland, yet only partly in Sweden and Finland. In the Faroe Islands, the changes in cancer rates were not statistically significant. The study was published in International Journal of Cancer.
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Millions of Ukrainian children have been displaced, either internally or as refugees, by the war with Russia. A systematic review by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Ukraine’s Sumy State University has compiled the scientific literature on children’s health in Ukraine. The study, which is published in the journal Acta Paediatrica, could prove useful for clinicians treating refugee children from Ukraine.
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Use of assisted reproductive techniques (ART) does not lead to poorer mental health in children across adolescence and young adulthood, according to a large observational study led by researchers at Karolinska Institutet. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found a slightly higher risk of obsessive-compulsive disorder for those born after ART but this was explained by parental background factors.
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Media coverage of positive vaccine research can have a positive effect on overall social media sentiment – countering vaccine misinformation – but the effects wane over time. Researchers at Oxford University and Karolinska Institutet have analysed social media to investigate associations between vaccine-related major news announcements, and attitudes towards vaccines.
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Catarina Almqvist Malmros, pediatrician at Astrid Lindgren's Childrens Hospital and professor at Karolinska Institutet, receives a research prize from the Swedish Society of Medicine's section Swedish Association for Allergology.
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Young people are at risk of falling seriously unwell with tuberculosis and spreading the disease. Therefore, researchers at Karolinska Institutet, among others, have mapped key factors that affect the treatment outcomes in 10- to 24-year-olds with tuberculosis in Brazil, where the disease is increasing. To deal with the global tuberculosis epidemic, researchers say that greater focus is needed on this age group in tuberculosis programs. The study is published in The Lancet Global Health.
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Prolonged exposure to air pollution can be linked to an increased risk of stroke and coronary heart disease, even when levels are below the limits specified by the EU and WHO. This has been shown, among others, by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Helmholtz Zentrum München in a large European study published in The Lancet Planetary Health.
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Children and young people whose mothers had a BMI greater than 30 during early pregnancy are at an increased risk of fatty liver disease. This is shown in a register-based study from Karolinska Institutet and Harvard University published in the journal Journal of Hepatology. As obesity rates increase also in women at a child-bearing age, more and more young people are at risk of developing fatty liver disease, the researchers say.
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Adults with ADHD are at higher risk of a wide range of physical conditions, including nervous system, respiratory, musculoskeletal, and metabolic diseases, according to a large register-based study from Karolinska Institutet published in The Lancet Psychiatry.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have found links between certain blood groups and a total of 49 diseases, including a new finding that having blood group B seems to be a protective factor against kidney stones. The study, which includes data on more than five million people and over 1,000 diseases, confirms previously identified connections between certain blood groups and increased risk of blood clots, bleeding conditions or pregnancy-induced hypertension. The result is published in eLife.
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Although hemorrhoids are a common health problem, relatively little is known about the field, possibly because many people find them difficult to talk about. Researchers linked to Karolinska Institutet have been involved in a study that has analysed the genomes of almost a million people and found previously unknown causes of severe hemorrhoids. The study, which is published in the journal Gut, also reveals links to other gastrointestinal diseases.
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The European Renal Association – European Dialysis and Transplant Association has just announced their annual awards and Professor Juan-Jesus Carrero from the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Karolinska Institutet will receive the ERA-EDTA Award for Research Excellence for his work in kidney epidemiology, on June 7, 2021 at the 58th ERA-EDTA Congress.

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Chlamydia trachomatis infection is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI), with about 127 million new cases estimated annually worldwide. Since it is an asymptomatic infection, individuals may carry it for a long time and unknowingly transmit the infection to others.
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Nearly 11 percent of people admitted to an intensive care unit in Sweden between 2010 and 2018 received opioid prescriptions on a regular basis for at least six months and up to two years after discharge. That is according to a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet published in Critical Care Medicine. The findings suggest some may become chronic opioid users despite a lack of evidence of the drugs’ long-term effectiveness and risks linked to increased mortality.
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The Charlson co-morbidity index (CCI) is a disease index that was originally created to predict short-term mortality but is increasingly used as a proxy for comorbidity burden, and is often used as a co-variate, for instance in regression models. There are currently several available versions of the CCI. The existence of multiple morbidity indices creates confusion, increases the risk of mistakes and requires individual researchers to spend considerable time examining included codes.
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One woman in eight develops breast cancer during her lifetime in the Western world and although mammography screening reduces mortality by early detection, approximately one fourth of the women who develop breast cancer are diagnosed within two years after a negative screen.
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So far, little research has been done on the risk of children being seriously affected by COVID-19 when the schools were open. A study from Karolinska Institutet has now shown that one child in 130,000 was treated in an intensive care unit on account of COVID-19 during the period March-June. The work has been published as a letter to the editor in New England Journal of Medicine.
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Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), or nasopharynx cancer, is a malignant disease characterized by unique geographic distribution endemic to southern China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East/North Africa. It is known that the interaction of Epstein-Barr Virus infection, environmental and lifestyle factors, and genetic susceptibility, contributes to NPC carcinogenesis.
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Shihua Sun has investigated the associations between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and specific adverse outcomes including asthma and premature death. In his thesis, Shihua included four studies to clarify the magnitude and etiology of the associations, as well as potential effects from medication treatment that may prevent poor prognosis.
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In her thesis, Shadi Azam studied the association between established breast cancer risk factors with mammographic density change over time and mammographic microcalcifications by using data from the prospective KARMA cohort.
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Thirteen researchers connected to Karolinska Institutet are on the 2020 list of highly cited researchers presented by Clarivate, the company behind Web of Science.
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Recent data suggest that adults may experience long-term symptoms after COVID-19 infection, but if such symptoms also occur in children is still unknown. Children tend to have milder COVID-19 than adults, but in a case-report from Sweden, Professor and pediatrician Jonas F Ludvigsson describes five children with potential “long COVID”. These findings, together with a systematic review of long COVID in children, are published in the journal Acta Paediatrica.
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Early-life events, such as the exposure to air pollutants, increases the risk of chronic lung disease in young adulthood, according to new results by researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, published in the European Respiratory Journal and Thorax. The studies add to the growing evidence that chronic lung disease in adulthood can be traced back to childhood.
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A new paper shows that differences in plasma protein biomarker levels are controlled by hundreds of genetic variants across the human genome, and that these insights can be used to predict which drug targets that are likely to be effective future medicines. The study has been published in the October issue of Nature Metabolism.
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“An important finding of the study was that any type of parental mental illness strongly increased the risk of childhood socioeconomic adversity.” says Kyriaki Kosidou, researcher at KI and corresponding author of the newly published article about parental mental illness and its association with socioeconomic adversity among children in Sweden.
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In her thesis, Camilla Wiklund aims to extend the knowledge about the relationship among body mass index (BMI), gastrointestinal complaints, and diet, and how these factors contribute to the emergence and maintenance of eating disorders.
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Among women participating in cervical cancer screening in Sweden, those with a diagnosis of invasive cervical cancer had an increased risk of iatrogenic injuries (as a consequence of medical intervention) and non-iatrogenic injuries (caused by accidents and self-harm) requiring hospitalization, according to results published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
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A comprehensive comparison of cancer survival between the Nordic countries shows improvements for all countries over time with previously observed differences attenuated. The reasons for these improvements are likely multifactorial. Previous studies comparing cancer survival between the Nordic countries have found marked differences, with a notably poorer survival in Danish patients.
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KI webbförvaltning
08-06-2022