Sex differences in Cardiovascular Risk across Life course Transitions

SCaRLeT is a HRB Emerging Investigator project awarded to Dr Linda O’Keeffe in 2019. SCaRLeT aims to improve understanding of the sex-specific aetiology of cardiovascular disease risk across the life course using causal inference methods, life course epidemiology and mediation analyses.


Dr Linda O'Keeffe

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death worldwide and prevention of key modifiable CVD risk factors such as smoking are still a global public health priority. Striking sex differences in CVD risk exist throughout life but the aetiology of these differences is not well understood. In adults, modifiable risk factors have different associations with CVD risk in females and males. For example, smoking is a stronger risk factor for CVD in females compared with males. Whether these differences are due to true sex differences in the causal effects of risk factors because of biology or arise due to biases in research is not understood. In addition, there is limited study of the contribution of modifiable risk factors through childhood and adolescence (when many risk factors start) to CVD risk in females and males. The study of the sex-specific aetiology of CVD risk is an exciting and growing area of research, that offers opportunities for more effective CVD prevention efforts.

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ESPRIT Research Group

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