Research group Olof Stephansson

The overall objective of our research is to inform evidence-based clinical care of women and their infants during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.

Reproductive, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology

The Reproductive, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology Group has extensive experience and expertise in conducting large-scale epidemiological studies using high-quality population-based health care and quality registers. In addition, we perform randomised clinical studies and qualitative studies within the clinic.

We collaborate with other research groups, both within the Clinical Epidemiology Unit (KEP) and at Karolinska Institutet more broadly, as well as other universities in Sweden and internationally. We work in close collaboration with the Department of Women’s Health (ME Pregnancy and Childbirth) at the Karolinska University Hospital and other providers of care in the Stockholm Region.

Our group includes experienced researchers who combine clinical work with epidemiological research, and is composed of obstetricians and gynecologists, midwives, neonatologists and pediatricians, nutritionists, epidemiologists, biostatisticians and doctoral students. Many of our researchers are also engaged in a range of national and local initiatives for safety and improvement of care for women and their infants.

Since 2014, we have been responsible for developing and leading the Swedish Pregnancy Register – a register focused on improving the quality of care for pregnant women and their newborns.

Ongoing projects

Not all research questions are possible or even ethical to study in randomized trials. The high-quality population-based registers available in the Nordic countries uniquely allow us to answer research questions that are otherwise difficult to address, including medication exposure during pregnancy.

Research within our group is broad and includes risk factors, interventions and management during pregnancy, delivery and the neonatal period, and associated maternal and infant outcomes. Specifically, our research focus includes:

  • Obesity, bariatric surgery before pregnancy, weight gain during pregnancy and maternal and perinatal outcomes.
  • Quality of care interventions and models of care during childbirth.
  • Prediction models for preeclampsia and postpartum haemorrhage.
  • Duration of labour, interventions, and adverse delivery outcomes.
  • Medication use and chronic diseases (including diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatic diseases) during pregnancy and maternal, perinatal and infant outcomes.
  • Pregnancy and associated risks of infant neuropsychiatric disorders and medical diseases, including stroke.
  • The impact of climate change on maternal and perinatal health.
  • Neonatal quality care and associated short- and long-term outcomes.

Group members

Forskargrupp Olof Stephansson.
Photo: Olof Stephansson Row above from left: Linnea Ladfors, Olof Stephansson, Kari Johansson, Neda Razaz, Sven Cnattingius, Karin Johnson, Lisa Kogner, Hanna Carr and Abid Lashari. Row below from left: Zakir Hossin, Louise Lundborg and Natalie Holowko.

Olof Stephansson

Professor/senior physician/ Research group leader.

Abid Lashari, Postdoc.

Anders Hjern, Professor.

Ängla Mantel, Postdoc.

Anna Edenius, PhD student.

Anna Ivert, PhD student.

Anna-Karin Edstedt Bonamy, Researcher.

Anna Sandström, Docent.

Anne Örtqvist, Postdoc.

Ayoub Mitha, Researcher.

Can Liu, Researcher.

Charlotte Elvander, Researcher.

Charlotte Lindblad Wollmann, Postdoc.

Eleni Simatou, PhD student.

Eleni Tsamantioti, PhD student.

Eleonor Tiblad, Researcher.

Fatine Khammari Nyström, PhD student.

Giulia Muraca, Researcher.

Hanna Carr, PhD student.

Huiling Xu, PhD student.

Ida Lagerström, PhD student.

Jenny Bolk, Researcher.

Jonas Söderling, Statistician.

Kari Johansson, Associate professor.

Karin Johnson, PhD student.

Katarina Åberg, Postdoc.

Katarina Remaeus, Postdoc.

Linda Lindström, Postdoc.

Linnea Ladfors, PhD student.

Louise Lundborg, Postdoc.

Malin Bergström, Researcher.

Malin Edqvist, Researcher.

Maria Altman, Associate professor.

Marija Simic, Researcher.

Martina Persson, Senior lecturer.

Mia Ahlberg, Researcher.

Michaela Granfors, Researcher.

Natalie Holowko, Researcher.

Nathalie Roos, Researcher.

Neda Razaz, Assistant professor.

Stefan Johansson, Researcher.

Sven Cnattingius, Senior professor.

Xingrong Liu, Statistician.

Zakir Hossin, Postdoc.

Cooperation

Our international collaborations include the following universities and institutions:

  • University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, USA.
  • Stanford University, California, USA.
  • University of Berkeley, California, USA.
  • University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
  • Bristol University, Bristol, UK.
  • Institute de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS), Ouagadougou,Burkina Faso.
  • Oslo University, Oslo, Norway.
  • the Norwegian Institute of Publid Health.
  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • World Health Organization;  University of Michigan, USA.
  • Paris Descartes University, France.

Research support

Our research is well supported and has received research grants from several Swedish and international institutions, including:

  • The Swedish Research Council.
  • The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare.
  • Belmont Forum.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • NordForsk.
  • Karolinska Institutet.
  • The County Council of Stockholm, Sweden.

Selected Publications

Association of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination During Pregnancy With Pregnancy Outcomes.
Magnus MC, Örtqvist AK, Dahlqwist E, Ljung R, Skår F, Oakley L, Macsali F, Pasternak B, Gjessing HK, Håberg SE, Stephansson O
JAMA 2022 04;327(15):1469-1477

Association of SARS-CoV-2 Test Status and Pregnancy Outcomes.
Ahlberg M, Neovius M, Saltvedt S, Söderling J, Pettersson K, Brandkvist C, Stephansson O
JAMA 2020 11;324(17):1782-1785

Apgar Score and Risk of Neonatal Death among Preterm Infants.
Cnattingius S, Johansson S, Razaz N
N Engl J Med 2020 07;383(1):49-57

Association between Apgar scores of 7 to 9 and neonatal mortality and morbidity: population based cohort study of term infants in Sweden.
Razaz N, Cnattingius S, Joseph KS
BMJ 2019 05;365():l1656

Associations between high temperatures in pregnancy and risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirths: systematic review and meta-analysis.
Chersich MF, Pham MD, Areal A, Haghighi MM, Manyuchi A, Swift CP, Wernecke B, Robinson M, Hetem R, Boeckmann M, Hajat S,
BMJ 2020 11;371():m3811

Risk of Autism After Pediatric Ischemic Stroke: A Nationwide Cohort Study.
Sundelin H, Söderling J, Bang P, Bolk J
Neurology 2022 Mar;():

The effect of two midwives during the second stage of labour to reduce severe perineal trauma (Oneplus): a multicentre, randomised controlled trial in Sweden.
Edqvist M, Dahlen HG, Häggsgård C, Tern H, Ängeby K, Teleman P, Ajne G, Rubertsson C
Lancet 2022 03;399(10331):1242-1253

Routinely collected antenatal data for longitudinal prediction of preeclampsia in nulliparous women: a population-based study.
Sandström A, Snowden JM, Bottai M, Stephansson O, Wikström AK
Sci Rep 2021 09;11(1):17973

MAIT Cells at the Fetal-Maternal Interface During Pregnancy.
Kaipe H, Raffetseder J, Ernerudh J, Solders M, Tiblad E
Front Immunol 2020 ;11():1788

Association of Maternal Gastric Bypass Surgery With Offspring Birth Defects.
Neovius M, Pasternak B, Näslund I, Söderling J, Johansson K, Stephansson O
JAMA 2019 10;322(15):1515-1517