Center for research on heart disease in women

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 Professor dr. med. Eva Gerdts

Eva Gerdts is Professor of cardiology at the University of Bergen and head of the Centre for Research on Coronary Disease in Women. 

Competence/Interests: Heart disease in women, hypertension, obesity, echocardiography, clinical trials, aortic stenosis


Arleen Aune

Arleen Aune is PhD Candidate at Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen.

Competence/Interests: The female heart in uncontrolled hypertension (echocardiography, hypertension, gender-differences, primary aldosteronism)

Presentation of project relevant for the Center: 

The IDA study is a national multicenter study examining medication adherence in patients with uncontrolled treated hypertension. In the Bergen substudy, special attention is given to echocardiographic findings, aiming to uncover gender differences in the cardiac responses to uncontrolled hypertension.


Dana Cramariuc

Dana Cramariuc is Cardiologist and Associate Professor at Department of Heart Disease, Haukeland University Hospital and Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen.

Competence/Interests: Heart valve diseases, Cardiac remodeling in hypertension and obesity, Cardiac mechanics, 3D echocardiography.

Presentation of project relevant for the Center: 

1. The 3D-PRIME (3D Echocardiography and Cardiovascular Prognosis in Mitral Regurgitation, ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04442828) project is a prospective study of patients with chronic mitral regurgitation (MR) living on the West Coast of Norway and referred to the Heart Valve Clinic at Department of Heart Disease, Haukeland University Hospital. In this study, we aim to refine MR diagnosis and analyze its effects on clinical outcomes by using new 3D echocardiographic methods. Inclusion in the study started in 2020 and is ongoing. A minimum of 150 women and men with organic or functional MR are planned included and followed up for 2 years.

2. The Bariatric Surgery on the West Coast of Norway (FatWest) project studies the effects of severe obesity and large weight loss achieved through surgery on cardiac remodeling. In the FatWest study, 125 patients are examined clinically and by echocardiography before surgery and yearly up to 5 years after weight-reducing surgery. Gradual changes in cardiac structure and function are analyzed in relation to sex, blood pressure and inflammatory markers. 



Rune Krogh Eilertsen

Rune Krogh Eilertsen is PhD Candidate at Department of Clinical Science, UiB, and Stavanger University Hospital.

Competence/Interests: Hypertensive Heart Disease, Echocardiography, Valvular Heart Disease, Coronary Heart Disease, Heart Rhythm Disorders, Heart Failure, Stroke.

Presentation of project relevant for the Center:

In my PhD-project we investigate systemic cardiovascular disease in young women and men with ischemic stroke – and whether sex-differences in blood pressure may impact the risk for ischemic stroke.


Lisa M.D. Grymyr

Lisa M.D. Grymyr  


Hilde Halland

Hilde Halland is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Centre for Research on Coronary Disease in Women, Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen.

Competence/Interests: Hypertension, obesity, heart disease in women.

Presentation of project relevant for the Center:

Currently working with the follow-up study of the FAT-associated CardiOvasculaR dysfunction study (FATCOR)-cohort. The cohort was has previously undergone rigorous testing, including echocardiography, measurement of aortic stiffness and ergospirmetry. The prevalence and associations of subclinical cardiovascular disease with presence of overweight and obesity, sex and also level of cardiorespiratory fitness, has previously been explored. We are now conducting a follow-up study to further explore this cohort. 


Ester Kringeland

Ester Kringeland is a Cardiologist and PhD Candidate at Department of Heart Disease, Haukeland University Hospital and Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen.

Competence/Interests: Blood pressure, heart disease in women, echocardiography. 

Presentation of project relevant for the Center:

In my PhD project I focus on how blood pressure in the early forties impact cardiovascular health in women and men up to 20 years later. The project is a part of the community-based Hordaland Health Study (https://husk-en.w.uib.no/). Blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk factors were measured in a total of 3700 persons born 1950-51 in 1992-93 (HUSK1) and in 1997-99 (HUSK2). These persons have been invited to a new, ongoing survey (HUSK3). In HUSK3 all participants will undergo cardiovascular examinations with ultrasound of the heart and measurement of arterial stiffness.


Anja Linde

Anja Linde work as a PhD candidate at UiB/OUS and as a doctor at Department of Cardiology, Haukeland University Hospital.

Competence/Interests: Heart disease in patients with rheumatic diseases, heart disease in women, hypertension, echocardiography and arterial stiffness.

Presentation of project relevant for the Center:

Rheumatic diseases affects women more frequently than men. This leads to chronic inflammation, which further increases the risk of heart disease in these patients. 

Subclinical cardiovascular organ damage in chronic inflammatory diseases


Maria C. Magnus

Maria C. Magnus work as Senior researcher at Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Competence/Interests: Reproductive and cardiovascular epidemiology.

Presentation of project relevant for the Center:

Principal investigator for a five year ERC starting grant looking at the causal nature of the relationship between infertility and cardiovascular disease.
The burden of infertility is high across Europe. Modest evidence indicates that infertile couples might have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), but several questions need clarification to establish a cause-and-effect relationship. 

Helga Midtbø

Helga Midtbø  Senior researcher at The Center for Research on Cardiac Disease in Women at the University of Bergen and MD at the Department of Heart Disease, Haukeland University Hospital.

Reseach interests are cardiac imaging, cardiac disease in rheumatic diseases, sex & gender research, hypertension and obesity.


Tone Merete Norekvål

Tone Merete Norekvål,  Professor PhD,Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen and Department of Heart Disease, Haukeland University Hospital and as Chair PROCARD Research Group.

Competence/Interests: Patient-reported outcomes in cardiology, and her PhD dissertation was on Patient-reported outcomes in women after myocardial infarction (2009).

Presentation of project relevant for the Center:

The overall aim of the CONCARDPCI study is to investigate continuity of care, patient preferences, adherence to treatment, cardiac rehabilitation participation and uptake, and health literacy and self-management in patients undergoing PCI. Further, to determine associations with future short- and long-term health outcome, health care utilization and costs. The study includes more than 3400 patients after PCI. Data is analyzed in an age and gender perspective. CONCARD - Helse Bergen (helse-bergen.no)

The eCardiacRehab project build on CONCARDPCI. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a Class 1 recommendation in European guidelines. Still, most Norwegian patients do not participate in CR, possibly due to large number of patients, long distance to CR center and few CR programmes. However, international research points towards specific challenges related to CR for women. eCardiacRehab adress this issue from a multimethod and multidisciplinary perspective.


Camilla Normand

Dr. Camilla Normand work at University of Stavanger and Stavanger University Hospital.

Competence/Interests: Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) 

Presentation of project relevant for the Center:

Postdoktor prosjekt: Underutilization of cardiac device therapy – understanding and combating the gender gap.  Using the National Norwegian Heart Failure Registry to identify potential obstacles to CRT and ICD implantation in women so that these can be targeted to ensure improved coronary care for women. 


Annabel Eide Ohldieck

Annabel Eide Ohldieck is Doctoral research fellow/Cardiologist at University of Bergen/Haukeland University Hospital.

Competence/Interests: Heart failure, arythmias and device therapy, female heart disease and hypertension.

Presentation of project relevant for the Center:

Enlarged left atrium in older women - significance of weight gain and inflammation in adulthood

Obesity leads to chronic inflammation in the cardiovascular system, the development of an enlarged left atrium and a high risk for heart disease such as atrial fibrillation and heart failure. Among middle-aged subjects with obesity an enlarged left atrium is more common in women than in men. Many obese subjects also have high blood pressure. We have previously shown that good blood pressure treatment does not normalize the size of the atrium. It is therefore of particular interest to identify factors predisposing to left atrium enlargement in older women, factors that can potentially be used in its prevention. 

The project uses data from women and men that participated in the Hordaland Health Study, and focuses on identification of health factors associated with development of left atrial enlargement and whether these differ between women and men.


Eva Ringdal Pedersen

Eva Ringdal Pedersen is Consultant cardiologist / Associate professor at Haukeland University Hospital /University of Bergen.

Competence/Interests: Metabolomics, Epidemiology,  CT coronary angiography

Presentation of project relevant for the Center:

1)    Advanced coronary CT angiography in suspected coronary heart disease (VECTOR). This ongoing trial will include 450 patients hospitalized due to acute chest pain, who undergo coronary CT angiography.  The majority of the participants has non-obstructive coronary artery disease, a condition that is particularly common in women.  We combine a broad metabolomics approach based on nuclear magnetic resonance technology with advanced post processing of CT coronary angiography images. Our aims are discerning metabolic profiles associated with the volume and density of epicardial adipose tissue and with unstable atherosclerotic plaque morphologies.

2)     Coronary calcification in patients with angina pectoris detected by cardiac CT. Analysis of data from The Norwegian Registry in Invasive Cardiology (NORIC). This is a registry- based study including approximately. 13 000 patients undergoing CT coronary angiography at Haukeland University Hospital during 2013-2020. Information on subsequent invasive coronary angiographic procedures and on clinical endpoints during follow-up throughout 2021 will be collected by linkage to Norwegian national health registries.


Marit Sandberg

Marit Sandberg is Gynecologists, obstetrician and PhD-student at Haukeland University Hospital and Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen.

Competence/Interests: Maternal congenital heart disease in Norway.

Presentation of project relevant for the Center:

Improvements in early diagnostic capabilities, surgical success rates, and more available follow-up care have improved the survival of individuals born with congenital heart disease (CHD). More women with CHD will reach reproductive age and go through pregnancy, despite possible maternal and neonatal complications caused by the hemodynamic alterations associated with pregnancy. 

We want to investigate the outcomes and complications of pregnancy in women with congenital heart disease in Norway 1994-2014.


Ekaterina Sharashova

Ekaterina Sharashova is Associate Professor at Department of Community Medicine, The Artic University of Norway.

Competence/Interests: Cardiovascular Epidemiology, Atrial Fibrillation, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Public Health, International research cooperation and cooperation in higher education, Norwegian-Russian cooperation.



Elisabeth Skaar

Elisabeth Skaar is Senior Consultant and Postdoctoral Research fellow at Department of Heart Disease, Haukeland University Hospital.

Competence/Interests: Geriatric Medicine, Cardiology, TAVI, frailty and shared decision-making.

Presentation of project relevant for the Center:

Qualitative research on shared decision-making in older adults with severe aortic stenosis and coexisting dementia. 


Jannike Øyen

Jannike Øyen is Senior scientist at Institute of Marine Research.

Competence/Interests: Nutrition, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease.

Presentation of project relevant for the Center:

Data from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) are used to investigate the associations between intake of various protein sources (seafood and meat) and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes and hypertension in the mothers. We also perform animal experiments where the mice are fed with similar protein sources. This is done to validate the MoBa results and to evaluate mechanisms.