Public health

Noncommunicable diseases (WHO: NCD) also known as chronic diseases, are the major cause of all deaths worldwide. The  main types of noncommunicable diseases are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and age-related dementias.  Many of these diseases have increased rapidly especially in middle- and low income countries. They also carry an enormous economic burden.

The Department of Public Health at the University of Eastern Finland, and earlier at the University of Kuopio, is internationally well known for its top quality cardiovascular research, which dates back to 1970’s. We belong to several international research consortia, and the research activity goes on high gear every day. The world famous North Karelia Project was launched from here. Later on, the flagship of our international public health research has been the KIHD Study  (Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Stuydy), which, despite its name, does not focus only on cardiovascular diseases. It is examining risk factors and complex development of other chronic diseases as well, including cancers and diabetes. Well over 500 KIHD-related international peer-reviewed articles and about 40 PhD dissertations have been published so far. This population based prospective follow-up study will yield lots of valuable research and interesting findings well into the 2020’s.

Key senior researchers

Jussi Kauhanen, MD, PhD, MPH, Professor of Public Health (Responsible researcher), jussi.kauhanen(at)
Tiina Laatikainen, MD, PhD, Professor of Health Promotion, tiina.laatikainen(at)
Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, MD, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology, tomi-pekka.tuomainen(at)
Sudhir Kurl, MD, PhD, Adjunct Professor, sudhir.kurl(at)
Jari Laukkanen, MD, PhD, Professor of Cardiology (acting), jariantero.laukkanen(at)
Soili Lehto, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry (acting), soili.lehto(at)
Sari Voutilainen, PhD, Professor of Nutrition (acting), sari.voutilainen(at)
Jyrki Virtanen, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Nutritional Epidemiology, jyrki.virtanen(at)
Jaakko Mursu, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Nutritional Epidemiology, jaakko.mursu(at)
Tommi Tolmunen, MD, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Psychiatrist, tommi.tolmunen(at)