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Scientific Research

The research activities of our department are organized in three clusters:

The Department of Epidemiology offers research consultancy facilities for clinicians of the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam in clinical epidemiology .

Most studies of the department are embedded in three major programmes: the Rotterdam Study, a population-based follow-up study of chronic diseases in the elderly; the ERF study and the GenerationR study.


Epidemiology of Diseases

Deze onderzoekslijn richt zich op cardiovasculaire, neuro-, ophthalmologische en psychiatrische epidemiologie.

General objectives
This program includes scientific research in cardiovascular epidemiology, neuro-epidemiology, ophthalmic epidemiology and psychiatric epidemiology. Cardiovascular epidemiologic research focuses on the determinants of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease in the elderly and on cardiovascular diseases in women. The research is based on the Rotterdam Study and addresses inflammation markers and hemostasis as determinants of cardiovascular diseases in the elderly, and the effect of menopause, endogenous hormones and hormone replacement therapy in women. Neuro-epidemiologic research focuses on the etiology of neurodegenrative and cerebrovascular diseases, including dementia and Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease and stroke. Moreover, determinants and clinical correlates of degenerative and cerebrovascular brain changes are investigated with the use of state of the art neuro-imaging techniques. Ophthalmic epidemiologic research focuses on determinants of age-related macula degeneration and glaucoma. The emphasis is on the putative role of genetic factors and vascular factors in etiology of these diseases. The aim of the psychiatric epidemiologic research is to investigate the determinants, correlates and consequences of common psychiatric problems in the elderly. The focus has been on depressive disorders but anxiety disorders and sleep disturbances are also being studied.

Atherosclerosis, Alzheimer disease, cardiovascular disorders, dementia, depression, glaucoma, macular degeneration, Parkinson disease, white matter lesions, cerebrovascular disorders, brain imaging.

Main participants:
Arfan Ikram
Annemarie Luik
Maryam Kavousi
Caroline Klaver

Basic Epidemiology

Deze onderzoekslijn richt zich op de genetische, endocrinologische epidemiologie en epidemiologie van het bewegingsapparaat.

General objectives
This program oncludes research in the fields of genetic epidemiology, endocrinologic epidemiology and developmental epidemiology. Genetic epidemiologic research aims at quantifying the population risk of disorders associated with genetic risk factors and at identifying new genetic factors involved in complex genetic disorders. The work in endocrinologic epidemiology focuses on the question wether circulating hormone levels are associated with incident diseases of the elderly and with parameters of frailty. The emphasis is on determinants of locomotor diseases (osteoporosis, osteoarthritis) and on sex hormones and thyroid hormones as determinants of disease. Research in developmental epidemiology focuses on in-utero and early life determinants of diseases. It comprises work in reproductive epidemiology, and it is largely based on the Generation R cohort study.

Alzheimer’s disease, endocrinologic epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, sex hormones, thyroid hormones, Parkinson’s disease, pediatric epidemiology, osteoporosis, osteoarthrosis.

Main participants:
Vincent Jaddoe
Ernst Kuipers
Regine Steegers-Theunissen

Clinical Epidemiology

Deze onderzoekslijn omvat de klinische epidemiologie samen met radiologie, biostatistiek en pharmaco-epidemiologie

General objectives:
This program comprises three parts: clinical epidemiology in collaboration with radiology, biostatistics and pharmaco-epidemiology. The clinical epidemiology group collaborates with the department of radiology in a joint research program for the Assessment of Radiological Technology (ART program). This program’s research focuses on the assessment of diagnostic imaging and image-guided therapy, with an emphasis on cardiovascular disease and trauma imaging. Methodological research in the ART program focuses on developing the methods for evaluating diagnostic imaging procedures and stochastic modeling. The biostatistics group provides quantitaves support for various studies in the Erasmus MC. For its own research, the biostatistics group focuses on the application of new developments in statistics, such as new analytic methods for dependent observations, like random effect models, meta-analyses, Bayesian methods, and sequential analysis. Pharmaco-epidemiologic research focuses on unintended effects of medications, and the effects of medication use under common circumstances in large populations.

Biostatistics, clinical epidemiology, diagnostic procedures, imaging techniques, pharmaco-epidemiology, prognostic factors, radiology, research methods.

Main participants:
Myriam Hunink
Bruno Stricker

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