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PhD project: Geographical and social inequalities in acute myocardial infarction in Denmark

The burden of cardiovascular disease is unequally distributed across the population both socially and geographically and more knowledge is needed in order to develop efficient prevention and rehabilitation strategies that reduce health inequalities and thereby the cardiovascular disease burden.

Public health research is traditionally performed without addressing the spatial dimension and does not take the spatial patterns of disease into account. However, insights into the geographical distribution of both disease and exposure might be of importance in understanding the dispersion and development of disease. Information on where disease occurs may provide information on why it occurs. In addition to the increased understanding of the cardiovascular disease etiology gained by incorporating the geographical component into epidemiological research, identifying and studying the location of people with high risk of disease makes it possible to establish more efficient allocation of medical services that target the most vulnerable areas and populations.

Purpose

The project aims to examine the social and geographical inequalities in acute myocardial infarction in Denmark. Furthermore, the study aims to identify determinants of the geographical inequalities in acute myocardial infarction observed across the country. The study seeks to identify the geographical inequalities that exist independently of other important determinants such as the individuals’ socioeconomic background (e.g., education and income), gender, and age.

Methods

The study is based on register data from the Danish nationwide population registers. The study population consists of all adults aged 30 years and older with residential location in Denmark between 2005 and 2014. Spatial statistical models are used in the study to incorporate information on where people live into the epidemiological modelling.

Project period

2016-2019.

Funding

Danish Heart Foundation, Helsefonden, and Karen Elise Jensen’s Foundation.

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