Clinical Epidemiology

Our passion is using big data to create value for patients and populations.

Our research group is leading a national strategic research program in epidemiology funded by the Swedish government. We utilize many of Sweden’s cohorts in our observational research and have collected many of them ourselves, and we are leading a national initiative to increase the value of all Swedish cohorts. We also lead randomized clinical trials, mainly in cardiometabolic diseases and emergency care, and conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Our methods and method development are focused on using big data to guide risk estimation, treatment decisions, and evaluation of treatment effects, risks and costs. In addition to traditional data sources such as clinical trials and cohorts with multiple omics data, we use emerging ones such as electronic health records and patient-generated data. We use causal inference methods such as Mendelian randomization, causal diagrams, and propensity score-based methods. We also explore machine learning methods, and develop novel methods for randomised clinical trials and individual participant data meta-analysis.

Read about ongoing projects

Group leader

Johan Sundström

Listen to professor Johan Sundström talk about his vision when it comes to work (in Swedish)

Listen to professor Johan Sundström's installation lecture

Johan Sundström's profile on Linked in

Professor Johan Sundström walking towards the photographer.

Societal impact

Impact on international guidelines

Ingelsson et al, JAMA 2006;295:2859-2866 cited in 2011 NICE guideline The clinical management of primary hypertension in adults.

Sundstrom et al, BMJ 2011;342:d643.473 cited in 2013 ESH/ESC Guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension.

Arefalk et al, Circulation 2014;130:325-332Sundstrom et al, Lancet 2014;384:591-598Ganna et al, Arterioscl Thromb Vasc Biol 2013;33:2267-2272, and Holmes et al, JAMA 2015;314:52–60 cited in 2016 European Guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention in clinical practice.

Andersen et al, Eur Heart J 2013;34:3624–3631 cited in 2016 ESC Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation developed in collaboration with EACTS

Sundstrom et al, Ann Intern Med 2015;162:184-91 and Sundstrom et al, Lancet 2014;384:591-598 cited in 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults

Sundstrom et al, BMJ 2011;342:d643.473, Sundstrom et al, Ann Intern Med 2015;162:184-91, and Sundstrom et al, Lancet 2014;384:591-598 cited in 2018 ESC/ESH Guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension.


Professor Johan Sundström's citations

Notable media attention

One of the group’s articles described in the BMJ as "the most important article for primary care in the last decade".

Selected domestic media attention

"Blood test might show whether a person is at risk for having a heart attack within the next few months ", article in Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT), July 18, 2017 (in Swedish)

"Strategies for getting more patients to take their blood pressure medication", article in Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT), March 26, 2017 (in Swedish)

"Smarter medication can save more people from heart attacks", article in Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT), May 13, 2018 (in Swedish)

"Even a small increase in blood pressure can be dangerous", article in Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT), December 18, 2014 (in Swedish)

"Patients that stop taking their prescribed medication run higher risk of heart attacks", article in Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT), September 25, 2017 (in Swedish)

"More heart attacks after patients stop taking their prescribed medication", article in Svenska dagbladet, September 26, 2017 (in Swedish)

"Alcohol limit values may be too high", article in Dagens Medicin, April 13, 2018 (in Swedish)

"Highest risk for the fastest skiiers", article in Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT), June 12, 2013 (in Swedish)

"Many Vasalopp can cause cardiac arrhythmias", article in Svenska Dagbladet, June 12, 2013 (in Swedish)

Selected international media attention

"Stopping aspirin therapy may raise heart attack stroke risk", Reuters, September 29, 2017

"BP lovering has benefits in uncomplicated mild hypertension", Healthy Living, 2014

"Weight loss, especially with surgery, tied to lower risk of heart failure", Medical Brief, March 22, 2017

"Can you get too much exercise?", The New York Times, July 24, 2013

"Heart risk for extreme skiers", Englemed Health News, June 12, 2013

"Too Much, Too Fast: Cross-Coutry Skiing And Heart Arrhythmias", Forbes, June 12, 2013

"Grueling X-Country Ski Race May Affect Heart Rhythm", Health News, June 12, 2013 grueling-x-country-ski-race-may-affect-heart-rhythm

"Cross-Country Skiers Run Arrhythmia Risk", MEDPAGE TODAY, June 11, 2013

"Arrhythmias more common in intense athletes", Health24, June 14, 2013

"Elite cross-country skiing linked to increased risk of subsequent arrhythmias",, August 29, 2011

"Cross-Country Skiers Run Higher Risk Of Heart Rhythm Problems", MedicalNewsToday, June 12, 2013