Study Materials

Team Bruna Gigante

The IMPROVE study

IMPROVE is a multicenter longitudinal European study designed to investigate if carotid intima media thickness (c-IMT progression), a measure of subclinical atherosclerosis, is an independent predictor of cerebrovascular and coronary events and to explore the underlying mechanisms.

The study population comprises 3711 subjects, aged 59-74 asymptomatic for cardiovascular diseases, but with at least three established cardiovascular risk factors [men or women at least 5 years after menopause, dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, smoking and family history of cardiovascular diseases], recruited in five European countries (Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, France and Italy) and followed up for 10 years for incident cardiovascular events, and with visits at 15 and 30 months to assess c-IMT progression.

At baseline, information regarding dietary habits, comorbidities and medications were collected and all participants underwent a physical examination.

A large biobank was established by blood sampling and storage (-80ºC) of whole blood, serum and plasma samples. Samples are currently stored at Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet and are part of the Stockholm Medicinska Biobank.

For a detailed description of the protocol, validation and precision of the c-IMT ultrasonographic measures please see Baldassare D et al, Eur Heart J 2010;31:614. Genomic DNA from study participants was genotyped with the CardioMetaboChip 200K custom Illumina iSelect genotyping array and the Immunochip is a custom Illumina Infinium HD array. Plasma and serum samples have been used to measure a large number of circulating biomarkers including the O-link CVD panel I and the study is part of the SCALLOP consortium.

PI for the Swedish IMPROVE center is Bruna Gigante at Dept of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet.

The Carebbean-elderly Study

The Carebbean-elderly (Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03828162) is a prospective cohort of elderly patients 75 years (y) designed to investigate the clinical, anthropometric and biochemical factors associated with an increased risk of thrombosis and bleeding in elderly patients treated with anti-coagulants.

Study participants are consecutive patients discharged from the Department of Cardiology at Danderyd Hospital (Stockholm, Sweden), a secondary referral center with a catchment area of approximately 500 000 inhabitants, with AF or atrial flutter (AFL) as main diagnosis between November 1st 2010 and  December 31st 2017. AF and AFL diagnoses were extracted from the hospital database by the QlikView software using the diagnosis codes I48.0-99 (International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision; ICD-10) and linked to the patients by their personal identity number. The cohort is matched yearly to the National Patient Registry and to the Cause of Death Registry to record incident bleeding and thromboembolic events.

PI is Bruna Gigante at Dept of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet.