Research Group Johan Ärnlöv

My research group investigates different aspects of the detrimental interplay between the kidney and the cardiovascular system. We use several national and international study cohorts to achieve our aims. We currently focus on the importance of the gut microbiome for the development of kidney disease.

Research Project

The microbiome in the gut-kidney-cardiovascular axis

Chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease cause enormous suffering for patients and high costs for society.  It has been suggested that the microbiome (bacteria and other microbes) in the gut and urine play an important role for the development of these diseases but community-based data are scarce. The overall aim of this proposal is to investigate the role of gut and urinary microbiome in the development of kidney and cardiovascular disease in a large community based cohort (SCAPIS) with detailed data on kidney and cardiovascular phenotypes.

SCAPIS is the largest study to date with gut microbiome data analysed with state-of-the-art whole genome shotgun metagenomics (n=10,000). In addition, with this proposal I will carry out the first-ever urinary microbiome-wide association study in the community. Moreover, I will create a unique multi-omics database with microbiomics, metabolomics and proteomics analyses in faeces, blood and urine and adress our research questions with novel state-of-the-art advanced machine learning methods. Moreover,  will apply Mendelian Randomization analyses in order to establish causal associations that may help guide future experimental and intervention studies. 

If successful, the present research proposal may open up new horizons for research that in the end may lead to improved diagnosis, prognostication and treatments for patients with kidney or cardiovascular disease in clinical practice.


Research Group Leader


Johan Ärnlöv

Research Group Leader

Research Group


Andreas Rydell

Doctoral Student


We are involved in several international research consortia such as

We also collaborate with a large number of individual Swedish and international researchers.  

Research Funding

  • Swedish Research Council
  • Swedish Heart Lung foundation

Selected publications

Global, regional, and national burden of chronic kidney disease, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.
Lancet 2020 02;395(10225):709-733

A Mendelian randomization study of the effects of blood lipids on breast cancer risk.
Nowak C, Ärnlöv J
Nat Commun 2018 09;9(1):3957

Estimated glomerular filtration rate and albuminuria for prediction of cardiovascular outcomes: a collaborative meta-analysis of individual participant data.
Matsushita K, Coresh J, Sang Y, Chalmers J, Fox C, Guallar E, et al
Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2015 Jul;3(7):514-25

Circulating proteins as predictors of incident heart failure in the elderly.
Stenemo M, Nowak C, Byberg L, Sundström J, Giedraitis V, Lind L, et al
Eur. J. Heart Fail. 2018 01;20(1):55-62

Cystatin C and Cardiovascular Disease: A Mendelian Randomization Study.
van der Laan SW, Fall T, Soumaré A, Teumer A, Sedaghat S, Baumert J, et al
J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2016 08;68(9):934-45

Cystatin C versus creatinine in determining risk based on kidney function.
Shlipak MG, Matsushita K, Ärnlöv J, Inker LA, Katz R, Polkinghorne KR, et al
N. Engl. J. Med. 2013 Sep;369(10):932-43

Association between serum cathepsin S and mortality in older adults.
Jobs E, Ingelsson E, Risérus U, Nerpin E, Jobs M, Sundström J, et al
JAMA 2011 Sep;306(10):1113-21

Use of multiple biomarkers to improve the prediction of death from cardiovascular causes.
Zethelius B, Berglund L, Sundström J, Ingelsson E, Basu S, Larsson A, et al
N. Engl. J. Med. 2008 May;358(20):2107-16

Impact of body mass index and the metabolic syndrome on the risk of cardiovascular disease and death in middle-aged men.
Arnlöv J, Ingelsson E, Sundström J, Lind L
Circulation 2010 Jan;121(2):230-6

Low-grade albuminuria and incidence of cardiovascular disease events in nonhypertensive and nondiabetic individuals: the Framingham Heart Study.
Arnlöv J, Evans JC, Meigs JB, Wang TJ, Fox CS, Levy D, et al
Circulation 2005 Aug;112(7):969-75



Content reviewer: