Research

Research is the cornerstone of any university and our team is an integral part of the University of Iceland research community. At the Centre of Public Health Sciences, we conduct epidemiological research, building on cross-disciplinary expertise, in collaboration with colleagues from around the world. 

We use nationwide population health registers and two recently established cohorts: 

The SAGA Cohort and Covid-19 National Resilience Cohort.

Our large-scale projects, listed below, are focused in the epidemiological areas of health effects of psychological trauma and stress, maternal and child health and chronic diseases. 

StressGene

The Stress and Gene Analysis Cohort (StressGene, Saga Cohort) is a unique nationwide study on the impact of trauma on women ‘s health. The target population are all women, 18 years or older, residing in Iceland in February 2018. From February 2018 till June 2019 participants answered an extensive web-based questionnaire on trauma history and health. They will then be prospectively followed for diagnoses of major physical diseases and mental disorders.

Funding: European Research Council (ERC) and The Icelandic Centre for Research. 

Study website: https://afallasaga.is/english/ 

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áfallasaga

COVID-19 National Resilience Cohort

COVID-19 National Resilience Cohort is a study conducted by the University of Iceland, the Directorate of Health and the Chief Epidemiologist, with the aim of increasing knowledge about the epidemic’s effects on the well-being and lifestyle of Icelanders. The study is part of an international study project in this field. 

Funding: Government of Iceland, NordForsk and University of Iceland. 

Study website: https://lidanicovid.is/about-the-study/  

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Induction of Labour in Iceland

The induction of labour in Iceland study is a registry-based study using data from the Icelandic Medical Birth Registry obtained from the Directorate of Health. This study focuses on the rise in rates of induction of labour in Iceland during the last couple of decades. The aim is to disentangle the reasons for the rise and to investigate the consequences of this rise on rates of other interventions and adverse birth outcomes. In this study we hope to discover the optimal gestational week for induction of labour for term pregnancies. This study is done in collaboration with obstetricians at the Landspitali University Hospital and is led by Professor Kristjana Einarsdóttir. 

Funding: The Icelandic Research Fund 

Contact: ke@hi.is 

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Natural Disasters and Health

Natural Disasters and Health is a study on the impact of natural disasters on the long-term psychological and physical health of those affected. The team uses preexisting questionnaire data, national registries, and the Swedish Tsunami Cohort to investigate long-term health effects of communities exposed to the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption in Iceland, survivors of the 2004 Tsunami in Southeast Asia, as well as survivors of two fatal avalanches in the Westfjords in Iceland in 1995. The project is ongoing 2015-2020. 

Funding: Icelandic Research Fund 

Contact: arnah@hi.is 

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Eldgos

The Lung Cancer Stress and Survival Study (LUCASS)

The Lung Cancer Stress and Survival Study (LUCASS) includes an extensive data collection through questionnaires, stress-biomarkers and tumour tissue collection from 170 patients diagnosed with lung cancer. The aim of the study is to address the role of the psycho-biological stress-response to a diagnosis in lung cancer progression and survival. Unnur Valdimarsdóttir, professor, and Hrönn Harðardóttir, pulmonologist and Ph.D. student, lead the project which is conducted in collaboration with the National University Hospital and scientists from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Iceland, Harvard School of Public Health, Reykjavik University, Karolinska Institutet, TU Dresden, and Örebro Universitet. 

Funding: The Icelandic Research Fund 

Contact: hronnh@hi.is 

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