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Lauren Lissner

EpiLife is Gothenburg's research center for epidemiological studies on mental and physical health interacting over the life course. The project leader, professor Lauren Lissner, studies obesity – a social phenomenon that increased dramatically in Sweden in the 1980s.
But how can we prevent the spread of obesity?

– Obesity in adults is associated with a wide range of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, many cancer forms, dementia and more. It is in children effects on quality of life are most apparent. This is the age when obesity should be prevented, to prevent other health consequences in the future.

The reasearch at EpiLife is based on long-term population studies?
– Yes, there were many important epidemiological studies started in Gothenburg in the 1960’s. For instance in 1963 there was the study of men born 1913, when they were 50 years old. This was followed by the Population Study of Women in Gothenburg, started in 1968 when the women were between 38 and 60 years old. Surviving members of these cohorts are still being followed up today.

What are the major pros of a long-term perspective?
– The overall research profile is mental and physical health over the lifecourse. Our older studies have followed subjects from mid- to late-life. Our newer studies are starting in children. For instance, early life obesity can have major consequences on both mental and physical health in later life.

EpiLife is a big, but also interdisciplinary research center?
– We are a network of epidemiological researchers from different parts of Univesity of Gothenburg representing cardiovascular medicine, nutrition, obesity, psychiatry, psychology, primary health care, statistics and clinical laboratory sciences. We are trying to develop new research that crosses over these areas, for instance, studies of nutrition, obesity, and dementia. We are also trying to create opportunities for younger researchers from the various groups to meet and exchange ideas regularly.

What are your future goals for EpiLife?
– That it should become a permanent research center that will be led by today’s network of younger researchers. This group is called "EpiLife Futures".

Personal Facts

Employment: professor in epidemiology
Age:
56 years
Family: husband Stellan, daughters Allison and Emilie, son Daniel.
Driving force: cooperation, synergy – and a good dose of caffeine
Research interests: public health, epidemiology, obesity
Leisure interests: literature

[Interview by Daniel Brodén and published 2012-06-01]

Contact Information

Centre for Culture and Health

Box 200, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden

Page Manager: Lovisa Aijmer|Last update: 6/26/2012
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