Chronic and inflammatory diseases

Seven of the world’s top 10 causes of death are non-communicable diseases according to WHO’s 2019 Global Health Estimates. They represent leading causes of death, disability and morbidity, leading to major impact on society, health systems, and wellbeing of a large proportion of the population.

The European region has the highest burden of non-communicable diseases which requires actions to mitigate, prevent and control. A relatively small group of non-communicable disease including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, account for an estimated 86% of all deaths and 77% of the disease burden in Europe. Pharmacological therapies are a key factor to prevent premature death and morbidity. As an active improving area with the development of new treatments, pharmacoepidemiology has a leading role in generating evidence on new and established treatments effectiveness, safety and utilization in a real-world setting.


Cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease and stroke, are the most common non-communicable diseases, and are the leading cause of death, responsible for an estimated 17 million deaths globally. Cardiovascular pharmacoepidemiology is a most relevant research area since a large proportion of the population is affected, causing a high impact on health systems and society, and offering large potential to reduce premature mortality and disability. CPE is actively working in the cardiovascular research area, including evaluation of medicines used for prevention or treatment of cardiovascular disease, such as antithrombotic and lipid lowering drugs, and also cardiovascular safety for other treatments in a real-world setting.


Cancer is a group of heterogeneous diseases caused by uncontrolled cell proliferation and growth. Cancer incidence is predicted to increase in the following two decades. Cancer causes 20% of deaths in Europe, representing the most important cause of death and morbidity after cardiovascular diseases. Many types of cancer may be prevented and early detection increases the chance of cure substantially. As cancer is one of the main health priorities, key areas of research and improvement include prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, quality of life of cancer patients and survivors. Factors such as expanded development of new cancer therapies, long-term pharmacological treatment and increased survival due to improved care can cause increased long-term side effects urging more research in cancer pharmacoepidemiology. Cancer pharmacoepidemiology at CPE includes research to investigate the effects of various medications on cancer risk, response to cancer treatments, and also adverse or long-term effects of pharmacologic agents used to treat cancer.

Chronic diseases

Chronic diseases are a broad category including many different conditions like diabetes, asthma and inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis which are having an impact on morbidity, quality of life, and mortality. Asthma affected an estimated 262 million people worldwide in 2019. The global diabetes prevalence in 2019 is estimated to be 463 million people, and is increasing. Psoriasis affects up to 8% of the Nordic population. Considering the population aging, the impact on society and health related costs are increasing in Europe. All chronic diseases share the necessity of long term behavioral and pharmacological treatments. New biological medical products and treatments have been developed to treat chronic diseases and their complications, such as anti TNF agents developed to treat autoimmune diseases. Research at CPE includes pharmacoepidemiology approaches in a real-world scenario to estimate the effects of long-term treatments in the population, to understand patterns of utilization, and to provide information to improve risk benefit balance, considering the complexity of these diseases. CPE has conducted and is conducting many studies of biological drugs with respect to efficacy and safety.

The research area is led by:

Marie Linder


Diego Hernan Giunta

Content reviewer: