The main objective of the Department of Epidemiology is to reveal the determinants of the occurrence and prognosis of disease. The department has three extensive research programmes:
Epidemiology of Diseases
- Cardiovascular Epidemiology
Cardiovascular epidemiologic research focuses on the determinants of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease in the elderly, such as inflammation markers and haemostasis, and on the determinants of cardiovascular diseases in women: effects of menopause, endogenous hormones, and hormone replacement therapy.
The research is based on the Rotterdam Study, a prospective cohort study of 10,994 men and women aged 55 and over from among the general population.
Neuro-epidemiologic research focuses on the aetiology of neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and cerebral white matter lesions.
- Ophthalmic Epidemiology
Ophthalmic epidemiologic research focuses on determinants of macula degeneration and glaucoma, such as genetic and vascular factors.
Basic Epidemiological Research
- Genetic Epidemiology
Genetic epidemiologic research quantifies the population risk of disorders associated with genetic risk factors and at identifying new genetic factors involved in complex genetic disorders.
- Endocrinological Epidemiology
The work on endocrinologic epidemiology focuses on the question whether circulating hormone levels of e.g. sex and thyroid hormones are associated with ‘incident’ diseases among the elderly, like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, and with parameters of frailty.
- Developmental Epidemiology
Research on developmental epidemiology focuses on in-utero and early life determinants of diseases. It comprises work on reproductive epidemiology and paediatric epidemiology; it is largely based on the Generation R cohort study.
- Assessment of Radiological Technology (ART)
The Clinical Epidemiology group collaborates with the Department of Radiology in a joint research programme for the Assessment of Radiological Technology. This programme focuses on assessing diagnostic imaging and image-guided therapies, with an emphasis on cardiovascular disease and trauma imaging.
Pharmaco-epidemiological research focuses on the unintended effects of medication, and the effects of medication use under normal circumstances in large populations.
For more information, faculty member profiles, and publications, visit the Department of Epidemiology website .