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Health promotion and prevention of lifestyle-rlated diseases

Lifestyle-related diseases, such as type-2-diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular diseases pose a major and global public health problem. Worldwide, 422 million people are currently diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of mortality, accounting for 29.6% of all deaths (15.6 million deaths) worldwide. These numbers are staggering – especially when considering the fact that lifestyle-related diseases are often preventable. That is, while more fixed factors, such as low socio-economic status (SES) or a family history of poor health, contribute to the likelihood of lifestyle-related diseases, other significant precursors relate to changeable health behaviors. The most important lifestyle-related causes of morbidity and mortality are smoking, obesity and physical inactivity. It is expected that increasing rates of obesity and physical inactivity will lead to a surge in the number of patients with lifestyle-related diseases in the decades to come.

Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify and establish strategies for the identification and management of persons at high risk of lifestyle-related disease and persons with health-risk behavior.

In Denmark, disease prevention is already a central task in general practice as well as municipal health care services. The municipalities are responsible for primary prevention whereas secondary prevention responsibilities are shared between the regions (general practice) and the municipalities. Efficient prevention therefore calls for well-functioning intersectoral collaboration between general practice and municipal health care services.

As its overall aim, the Research Group for Health Promotion and Prevention of Lifestyle-related diseases seeks to contribute to a reduction in lifestyle-related diseases by conducting explorative as well as intervention studies in a variety of distinct, yet related areas. These primarily concern the development of methods to detect persons at risk of disease and/or persons with health-risk behavior; how to efficiently manage these risk groups in the primary care sector, and how to underpin individual health promotion.


Ongoing projects:


Contact:   Trine Thilsing


Last Updated 25.03.2020