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In December, Kenneth Chien is leaving his professorship in cardiovascular research after ten years at Karolinska Institutet. He will now devote himself wholeheartedly to developing new mRNA therapies in the biotechnology industry.
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We congratulate Daniel C Andersson, Johanna Lanner, Jon Lundberg, Carl Johan Sundberg, and Eddie Weitzberg, researchers at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology (FyFa), for securing grants from the Swedish Heart Lung Foundation in 2023. In total SEK 5,9 million has been awarded the researchers at FyFa.
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A new laboratory for MRI examinations was recently inaugurated at Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge. The purchase of a new MRI scanner, following a donation from the Erling Persson Foundation, creates completely new opportunities for the Stockholm Region and Karolinska Institutet for both doctors and researchers.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have evaluated the possibility of alerting drones equipped with automated external defibrillators (AED) to patients with suspected cardiac arrest. In more than half of the cases, the drones were ahead of the ambulance by an average of three minutes. In cases where the patient was in cardiac arrest, the drone-delivered defibrillator was used in a majority of cases. The results have been published in the journal The Lancet Digital Health.
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It is common for middle-aged women with suspected myocardial infarction to be diagnosed with broken heart syndrome instead, which is triggered by stress and grief. Per Tornvall hopes that his research will result in more people receiving the correct diagnosis and fewer people suffering a relapse. He is now testing to see if internet CBT may help to heal the heart.
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The Swedish Society of Medicine (SLS) annually awards SEK 100,000 as a prize to a particularly deserving younger researcher who has applied for and been awarded SLS project grants. This year, the prize goes to Bahira Shahim, resident physician in cardiology and researcher at the Department of Medicine Solna.
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Although a simple molecule, nitric oxide is an important signal substance that helps to reduce blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels. But how it goes about doing this has long been unclear. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden now present an entirely novel principle that challenges the Nobel Prize-winning hypothesis that the substance signals in its gaseous form. Their findings are presented in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.
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Cardiogenic growth factors play important roles in heart development and in a new study published in the scientific paper Nature Communications from researchers at Karolinska Institutet shows how stem cell therapeutics and mRNA technology are beginning to converge offering major improvements in vascularization, survival, expansion, differentiation, and ultimately the function of human stem cell grafts.
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Low concentrations of air pollutants are associated with poorer health, and previous research has found a link between air pollution and dementia risk. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, among others, have now investigated this connection. The study, published in the journal Neurology, contributes to a better understanding of the biological mechanisms that might explain why air pollution seems to increase the risk of developing dementia.
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Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common causes of death in Sweden and in the world. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, among others, have now found that artificial intelligence seems to play a role in identifying the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study, published in Cardiovascular Research, may in the future lead to more accurate diagnostic methods.
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Online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) shows promising effects on quality of life, as well as reduced healthcare consumption for patients with paroxysmal (i.e., intermittent) symptomatic atrial fibrillation, according to a new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. According to the researchers, this is the world's first randomized controlled trial of CBT for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).
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In the largest survey to date, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have studied how diseases of the aortic valve affect prognosis in patients with various types of heart failure. The study was published in the European Journal of Heart Failure. Shared first authors are sisters Angiza and Bahira Shahim, who also presented the results of the study at the Heart Failure International Conference in Prague.
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Antti Siika at the Vascular Surgery research group, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, will defend his thesis "Biomechanical and Morphological Aspects of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Growth and Rupture" on April 28th, 2023.

Main Supervisor is Joy Roy.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have investigated how preterm birth and foetal growth are related to the risk of atrial fibrillation up to middle-age. The study, which is published in JAMA Pediatrics, shows that being born preterm or large for gestational age was associated with increased risks of atrial fibrillation later in life. Being small for gestational age at birth was only associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation up to the age of 18.
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The 5D Heart Patch Project, led by Prof Kenneth Chien, has identified human ventricular progenitor (HVP) cells that can create self-assembling heart grafts in vivo. The research has the potential to offer hope to millions of people suffering from heart failure.
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The risk of developing cardiovascular disease is lower in people with obesity who have a genetic predisposition for high BMI than people with obesity influenced mainly by environmental factors such as lifestyle, researchers from Karolinska Institutet report in eClinicalMedicine.
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Acetylcholine regulates blood flow, but the source of blood acetylcholine has been unclear. Now, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have discovered that certain T cells in human blood can produce acetylcholine, which may help regulate blood pressure and inflammation. The study, which is published in PNAS, also demonstrates a possible association between these immune cells in seriously ill patients and the risk of death.
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Three professors at Karolinska Institutet – Gonçalo Castelo-Branco, Maria Eriksson and Björn Högberg – have been awarded ERC Advanced Grants, one of the most prestigious and competitive EU funding schemes. The funds, totaling more than 8 million euros, will support the use of innovative basic research methods to further our understanding of disease mechanisms and the tiniest building blocks of DNA.
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Mareia Talvitie at the Vascular Surgery research group, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, will defend her thesis "Abdominal aortic aneurysms : sex and gender disparities in surveillance, treatment and outcome" on March 31st, 2023.
Main Supervisor is Rebecka Hultgren.
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A clinical study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital shows that the hunger hormone ghrelin can increase the heart’s pump capacity in patients with heart failure. The results have been published in the European Heart Journal.
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Thanks to donations from numerous actors, Karolinska Institutet is now able to create a new professorship in prevention medicine. The professorship is named after its patron, HRH Prince Daniel.
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Patients with heart failure often suffer from co-morbidities, which places a great strain on the healthcare services, a multinational study published in Heart reports. The researchers, who are based at Karolinska Institutet, identify an urgent need to improve risk management of the disease.
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Beta blockers, which are widely used to treat heart conditions and high blood pressure, are associated with a lower risk of being charged with a violent crime, according to a new register-based study from Karolinska Institutet and the University of Oxford. The results have been published in PLOS Medicine.
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High levels of uric acid in midlife may significantly raise the risk for a serious type of irregular heartbeat in the decades that follow, even in people without traditional risk factors, new research from Karolinska Institutet published in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows.
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Being affected by several cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, is linked to a greatly increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A new twin study by researchers from Karolinska Institutet suggests that the same genes may be behind the risk of both cardiometabolic diseases and dementia. The findings have been published in European Heart Journal.
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The Vascular Surgery Group celebrated it’s 50 years anniversary in late October last year. The exact birthday of the lab is difficult to set. Nevertheless, it was not difficult to select 1972 as an appropriate starting point when Siw Frebelius joined Jesper Swedenborg and they together initiated the foundation of a research group which has survived throughout 50 years. 
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We warmly welcome Professor Marcus Carlsson to the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery. Marcus Carlsson was appointed Professor of Clinical Physiology on November 7, 2022 and he combines the professorship with a position as senior consultant at the Department of Clinical Physiology, Karolinska University Hospital. Marcus Carlsson was nominated to KI from the National Institutes of Health, USA, where he led the research group "Clinical Physiology".
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Volunteer so-called SMS lifesavers in Sweden, who are alerted to cardiac arrests nearby using a mobile app, perform a large part of life-saving efforts before the ambulance, police or emergency services arrive, regardless if they are instructed to collect the nearest defibrillator or not. This is according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet published in JAMA Cardiology.
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We congratulate David Marlevi at the Clinical Physiology Research Group, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, who is one of three researchers at Karolinska Institutet to be awarded the European Research Council's prestigious ERC Starting Grant 2022.
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Atrial fibrillation is the greatest risk factor for stroke. Screening to detect atrial fibrillation in older people would not only increase the chance of preventing stroke, it would also save money for the healthcare system and society, according to a study conducted at Linköping University and Karolinska Institutet, published in the European Heart Journal.
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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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Andrew Buckler at the research group Vascular Surgery, the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, will defend his thesis "Linking quantitative radiology to molecular mechanism for improved vascular disease therapy selection and follow-up" on October 21, 2022. Main Supervisor is Ulf Hedin.
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Each year, the Heart editorial team selects the most meritorious research paper from the preceding year to receive the Heart Best Research Paper Award. One of the three finalists for this year's award was the publication "Relative survival after aortic valve surgery in patients with biscupid aortic valves" from researchers at the Thoracic Surgery group, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet.
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Adults with ADHD are at greater risk of developing a range of cardiovascular diseases than those without the condition, according to a large observational study led by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Örebro University. The researchers say the findings, published in the journal World Psychiatry, underscore the need to monitor cardiovascular health in people with ADHD.
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A study led by Karolinska Institutet shows that it often takes weeks for patients with heart failure to be prescribed the recommended treatments, especially relatively new drugs such as dapagliflozin and sacubitril/valsartan. According to the researchers, the results are troubling as these treatments reduce the risk of death and heart failure hospitalization, and improve the patients’ life quality. The study is published in the journal JACC: Heart Failure.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and SciLifeLab describe in a study published in Science how they have improved the ability of a protein to repair oxidative DNA damage and created a new protein function. Their innovative technique can lead to improved drugs for diseases involving oxidative stress, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and lung diseases, but the researchers believe it has even greater potential.
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People with at least two of the diseases type 2 diabetes, heart disease or stroke have double the risk of developing dementia. Prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease could therefore be a strategy for reducing dementia risk, a study from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia suggests.
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Researchers at Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet are one step closer to explaining why COVID-19 patients have a substantially increased risk of blood clots. The study, published in Nature Immunology, shows that a gene variant in the innate immune system influences the risk for blood clots in the lungs of severely ill COVID-19 patients.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Germany’s Technical University of Munich (TUM) and AstraZeneca, among others, have identified a unique therapeutic approach with the potential to restore heart function following a heart attack. The new findings rely on so-called human ventricular progenitor (HVP) cells to promote novel heart tissue and reduce scarring after injury. This pre-clinical study is published in the journal Nature Cell Biology.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have studied long-term morbidity and mortality in individuals who have had different models of biological heart valves implanted. The results, which show that there are considerable differences in performance depending on model group, are published in the journal JAMA Network Open.
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In a new study conducted by researchers at the group Vascular Surgery, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, osteomodulin was identified as a novel biomarker for vascular calcification. The results of the study was recently published in the journal Clinical and Translational Medicine.
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Sweden is one of the few countries that have removed the dental health recommendation to give prophylactic antibiotics to people at a higher risk of infection of the heart valves, so-called infective endocarditis. Since the recommendation was removed in 2012, there has been no increase in this disease, a registry study from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases shows.
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In the largest funding round from the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation (Hjärt-Lungfonden), researchers at Karolinska Institutet will share a total of 95,776,000 SEK. All in all, approximately 70 projects at KI will benefit from the grant.
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A new study is due to examine whether the post-infarction prognosis can be improved by treating the stomach ulcer bacterium helicobacter pylori. The study is to be led by Robin Hofmann, cardiologist and researcher at the Department of Clinical Research and Education, Stockholm South General (Söder) Hospital, Karolinska Institutet.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in USA, have mapped how genes work together to cause cardiovascular disease. The study published in Nature Cardiovascular Research, suggests that that nearly 60 percent of the risk associated with coronary artery disease may be explained by regulatory gene networks.
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Very few proteins in the body have a change that makes them unique compared to the corresponding proteins in Neanderthals and apes. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have now studied one such protein, glutathione reductase, which protects against oxidative stress. They show that the risk for inflammatory bowel disease and vascular disease is increased several times in people carrying the Neanderthal variant.
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A receptor activated by substances formed from omega-3 fatty acids plays a vital role in preventing inflammation in blood vessels and reducing atherosclerosis, a new study from Karolinska Institutet published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation reports. The discovery can pave the way for new strategies for treating and preventing cardiovascular disease using omega-3 fatty acids.
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Endothelial cell dysfunction is a well-established response to cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as smoking and obesity. A new study from Karolinska Institutet show that an individual’s cardiovascular disease risk was linked to the levels of endothelial proteins found in the blood. The study was recently published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, ATVB Journal.
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The risk of developing cardiovascular disease is strongly associated with the “bad” LDL cholesterol. A large study by scientists at Karolinska Institutet now shows that two proteins that transport cholesterol particles in the blood provide early and reliable risk information. The researchers advocate introducing new guidelines for detecting cardiac risk and say the results, published in PLOS Medicine, may pave the way for early treatment, which could help lower morbidity and fatality rates.
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Socioeconomic factors affect the risk of cardiovascular disease and the chances of recovery. New research from Karolinska Institutet interrogates the significance of socioeconomic factors for sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The study, which is published in Circulation, shows that education and income impact survival rates in both men and women.
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KI webbförvaltning
09-06-2023