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About me

Ola Olén is a pediatric gastroenterologist and consultant at the Department of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at Sachs’ children and youth hospital. His research is conducted at the Clinical Epidemiology Unit at the Department of Medicine Solna, Karolinska Insitutet.

Research description

My research

The aim of my research is to improve healthcare and ultimately quality of life for children and adolescents suffering from diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).



As a pediatric gastroenterologist, most of my clinical time is devoted to patients with IBD. They are sometimes severely ill and require advanced treatment. My IBD research is conducted in national and international collaboration and is based on clinical data in national health registers and local biobanks. Important research questions that we explore are for instance: Why do some people get IBD? What is the prognosis for different patient groups with IBD (and especially for patients with childhood onset)? Different treatments for IBD – are they safe? And are they cost effective? I am also in the steering committee for the national quality register for IBD care (



Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other types of functional abdominal pain is very common: Approximately 3% of all visits to the general practitioner, 10% of visits to general pediatricians and 25% of visits to a pediatric gastroenterology unit.


It is well known that cognitive behavior therapy is effective for children and adolescents with IBS, but access to trained therapists is very limited. In randomized clinical trials we test if it is possible to treat children and adolescents with IBS or functional abdominal pain via internet (read more on I am also trying to understand why so many children suffer from IBS by studying risk factors for disease in birth cohorts (BAMSE, n=4000; ALADDIN, n=500) and national health registers. In these data sources we are studying the effects of genetics, perinatal risk factors, lifestyle, co-morbidity, gut flora and use of antibiotics.

Academic honors, awards and prizes

Ihre research fellow in gastroenterology 2014-2016

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