Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Genetics
Cardiovascular risk factors prevalence. Cardiovascular risk functions.
Our group has carried out three independent population-based cross-sectional surveys in the province of Girona with the aim of determining the distribution and prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in our population – in 1995 (n=1748), 2000 (n=3026) and 2005 (n=6352) –. From the epidemiological point of view these survey have supported the idea of a paradox in Southern Europe characterized by a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and a low incidence of MI.
Based on that observation we have calibrated and adapted the classical Framingham cardiovascular risk functions according to the coronary heart disease incidence and the cardiovascular risk factor prevalence in Spain. From a public health perspective, our results have been used by the Catalan and Spanish Government to elaborate and evaluate different Cardiovascular Health Plans.
Physical activity: measurement, practice and relationship with cardiovascular health.
Our group has adapted and validated an instrument to measure leisure time physical activity practice in Spanish men and women. We have determined the association between physical activity practice and some cardiovascular risk factors, such as dislipemia, lipid oxidation, and inflammatory biomarkers. Our group has also assessed the relationship between sport practice and some potential associated risks, such as atrial fibrillation incidence.
Our aim is to contribute in the identification of common genetic variants and novel pathways underlying the risk of cardiovascular diseases to improve our knowledge about the genesis, treatment, and prevention of the leading cause of death in the industrialized world. In the last few years, our group has been working in this type of studies using a candidate gene approach. Currently we are participating in some genome-wide association studies related to cardiovascular traits.