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Status: 09.07.2020 19:55:16

Image Cardiovascular Epidemiology

Research Group Cardiovascular Epidemiology (HKE)

Due to the departure of PD Dr. Cornelia Weikert, the research group was closed down on August 15, 2015.

The research group focused on:


Field of research

The Section Cardiovascular Epidemiology investigates the interrelations of nutritional factors, biomarkers, genetic variants, and cardiovascular disease in the EPIC Potsdam Study. The focus is on etiological questions as well as improving the prediction of cardiovascular disease by taking lifestyle into account, especially dietary factors.


Improvements in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease have increased the life expectancy of humans in recent years. However, statistics show that cardiovascular diseases are still the leading cause of death and are one of the main reasons for hospitalization in Germany. To a large extent, classical risk factors such as disorders in fat metabolism, hypertension, and smoking can explain the development of these diseases. However, quite a few patients have none of these risk factors.


It is the goal of this section to use epidemiological and statistical methods:

• to demonstrate the interrelations between certain new metabolic markers and the risk of cardial infarction (heart attack), stroke, and/or cardiac insufficiency (heart failure) in order to contribute to elucidation of basic pathomechanisms involved in cardiovascular disease development,

• to further clarify the role of dietary factors in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases,

• to improve the predictability of cardiovascular diseases in the light of lifestyle factors.

The section is actively involved in the research program “Cardiovascular Prevention” of the DZHK, a German association of cardiovascular research centers. It is also integrated into the European-wide EPIC Heart Consortium, which carries out analyses of risk factors for cardial infarction.

© 2020 DIfE - German Institute of Human Nutrition. All rights reserved. // as of 19.05.2020