My thesis is called “Chronic pain and the development of cardiovascular disease - from biology to public health”.
The aim is, in the long run, to contribute to a better cardiovascular prevention for people with long-term pain.
I work as an MD in primary health care and as a PhD student at Center for Clinical Research, Region Dalarna and Dalarna University.
Chronic pain and cardiovascular disease are among the most common diagnoses in primary care. Previous research supports the theory that patients with pain have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. However, these studies are relatively small, and there is much we do not understand about this interplay.
The purpose of this research project is therefore to investigate the association between chronic pain and the development of cardiovascular disease in several Swedish and international registers, for example UK Biobank with more than half a million study participants and the FRIDA study, based on almost all Swedish pain patients undergoing multimodal rehabilitation. My PhD project combines traditional epidemiological research, which answers questions about the clinical relevance, with more innovative molecular epidemiological research, which can provide clues about the underlying mechanisms behind the associations that are demonstrated.
Given the importance of both chronic pain and CVD in clinical routine care, even small improvements in prevention, diagnosis or treatment of these severe diseases may prove to have a substantial public health impact.