Eva Gerdts

Position

Professor, Member Norwegian Academy of Science & Letters

Affiliation

Research groups

Research

Heart disease in women is the main focus of all our research. The research involves international partnerships in Italy, Germany and USA. Different projects focus on heart disease due to high blood pressure, obesity, autoimmune diseases and aortic valve stenosis. Our research has so far contributed to the publication of European recommendations for treatment of high blood pressure in patients with aortic valve stenosis (2020) and a strong international focus on sex differences in heart disease through scientific publications, reviews and position papers in high-end journals including European Heart Journal, Nature Medicine and Hypertension. A new Centre for research on heart disease in women was established at UiB in June 2020 supported by Hjertefondet, Bergen Sanitetskvinner/Norske Kvinners Sanitetsforening and Grieg Foundation (https://www.uib.no/en/femaleheart). Our future research will be integrated with this new network. Furthermore in 2024 a new Center on Women's Health will be opende in May, and our research will we integrated also with this new, broader initiative on women's health.

The third survey in the Hordaland Health Study (HUSK3) was performed from June 2018 until June 2022. The main focus is to explore the impact of change in blood pressure and other health factors when the participants were in their forties for cardiovascular health 20 years later. The HUSK3 project is a collaboration between 4 research groups at UiB chaired by Eva Gerdts, Grethe S. Tell, Ottar Nygård and Jutta Dierkes, the BEVITAL academic laboratory and professor Marjolein Iversen at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. Additional information may be found under: PhD student Ester A. Kringeland, UiB; PhD student Zoya Sabir, UiB; PhD student Annabel E. Ohldieck, UiB

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a major health challenge in Norway and a focus area for my research, in particular related to sex differences in how high blood pressure promote damage to the heart. From 2019 we participate in a new research collaboration between the 4 Norwegian Medical Faculties in Bergen, Oslo, Trondheim and Tromsø focusing on mechanisms for uncontrolled high blood pressure among patients who use blood pressure lowering drug treatment. This IDA study is funded by the Norwegian Research Council. At campus, we have also developed a local collaboration with consultant PhD Marianne Grytaas, Section for endocrinology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, to study mechanisms of heart damage in patients with primary aldosteronism, a common cause of uncontrolled high blood pressure. In particular these studies will explore whether high blood pressure associated heart damage differs between women and men or depending on the etiology. See information on: PhD student Arleen Aune, UiB

Women with autoimmune diseases represent a high-risk group for development of premature heart disease. A research program on heart disease in autoimmune disorders have been developed in collaboration with national and international partners. From 2018 a research collaboration with Department of Rheumatology, Haukeland University Hospital has focused on the cardiac benefit of modern immunomodulating therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.  See information on: Senior researcher PhD Helga Midtbø, UiB and Haukeland University Hospital and PhD student Anja G. Linde

A program targeting preclinical heart disease in young patients with ischemic stroke was initiated in 2010 in collaboration with professor Ulrike Waje-Andreassen, Department of Neurology, Haukeland University Hospital. The follow-up examinations were completed in 2022. The program also includes an engagement from the Helsinki University Hospital to serve as echocardiography core laboratory in the European multicenter study SECRETO in patients who suffer a cryptogenic stroke before the age of 50 years. See also PhD fellow Rune Eilertsen, UiB, associate professor Dana Cramariuc, UiB and research student Rasmus Bach Sindre, UiB.

 

 

Outreach

https://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/i/l3zqWL/fersk-rapport-kvinner-har-dobbelt-saa-stor-risiko-for-hjerteinfarkt-naar-blodtrykket-stiger

Nasjonalforeningen awarded the 2022 Cardiac Research Prize to Eva Gerdts. The award was presented by King Harald of Norway

https://forskning.no/demens-forskningspriser-hjernen/kongen-delte-ut-forskningspriser/2018501 

ESC Council on hypertension video on Hypertension in Women for May month of Hypertension 2024

ESC Council on Hypertension (escardio.org)

Teaching

At the UiB: I give thematic lectures on hypertension, hemodynamics, hypertensive heart disease, heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, all in a sex and gender perspective.

I am also contributing to a hands on course in handheld echocardiography using the VScan device. See course leader Helga Midtbø, UiB for further details.

At the UiO: I give an annual lecture about sex differences in heart disease

Publications
Academic article
Editorial
Academic literature review
Abstract
Poster
Short communication
Programme participation
Letter to the editor
Article in business/trade/industry journal
Doctoral dissertation
Academic lecture
Non-fiction book
Interview
Reader opinion piece
Popular scientific article
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper

See a complete overview of publications in Cristin.

Projects

FEMALE HEART project

International collaboration from 2012 with researchers at UiT The Arctic University of Norway and federico II University of Naples, Italy. Translational project involving experimental animal studies and clinical studies. The project aim to identify mechanisms for why high blood pressure is more damaging to the heart in women than in men. An annual Female Heart workshop is organized at UiB based on this collaboration. 

Hordaland Health Study - 3rd survey (HUSK3)

Focus on sex differences in how blood pressure in 40 years old women and men predicts their cardiovascular health 20 years later. A total of 2192 individuals participated during 2018-22. We are now performing detailed analyses of the 

FAT associated cardiovascular dysfunction (FATCOR)

Focus on how obesity influences cardiac and arterial function in women and men. Crossectional study of 618 individuals. The 10 year follow-up visit started in 2022 focusing on changes in blood pressure over 10 years in midlife, sex differences, confounders and underlying mechanisms. 78% of the original participants have signed up. The first part is performed at Research Unit for Health Surveys at UiB and the second part involving ergospirometric testing on threadmill at Department of Heart Disease, Haukeland University Hospital.

The IDA study

Focuses on mechanisms for uncontrolled high blood pressure in patients who are perscribed antihypertensive drugs. National Norwegian research project funded by the Norwegian Research Council. A toal of 1100 women and men were recruited and half of them turned out to have uncontrolled systolic blood pressure at ambulatory 24h blood pressure monitoring. These individuals underwent echocardiography and further evaluation. The prevalence of drug non-adherence assessed from serum concentrations was very low and similar in both sexes. Arleen Aune MD defended her PhD thesis on sex differences in cardiac organ damage and relation to drug non-adherence in 2024. See Arleen Aune, UiB.

Sex differences and hypertension in aortic stenosis

Based upon 1873 patients with aortic valve stenosis who participated in the Simvastatin Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis (SEAS) study. Resulted in publication of a scientific statement paper by the European Society of Cardiology on management of hypertension in patients with aortic valve stenosis. Also inspired a new line of research for sex differences in aortic, valvular and left ventricular adaptation during progression of aortic valve stenosis. Key collaborators associate professor Dana Cramariuc, UiB, PhD Edda Bahlmann, St. George's hospital, Hamburg, Germany, and Eigir Einarsen, UiB.