Epidemiology and Prevention

Presentation of unit

The Epidemiology and Prevention Unit conducts several research projects relating to disease prevention including risk factors epidemiology, lifestyle changes, risk management and psychosocial risk factors and physical activity at work. The Unit is in close collaboration with the Belgian institute for health Sciensano (Brussels), the Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp), Imperial College London, the Jožef Stefan Institute Slovenia and the National Research Centre for the Working Environment (Copenhagen) with whom the unit shares several projects on the epidemiology and prevention of major health problems in developed and developing countries.

Our mission is to improve the health of people through population-based research with the aim to develop appropriate preventive strategies.


  • Epidemiology of chronic diseases
  • Primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases
  • Health related quality of life in patients with chronic disease
  • Occupational epidemiology
  • Psychosocial job resources and physical work demands
  • Epidemiology, prevention and control of infectious diseases in LMIC settings

Main activities

  • Teaching in public health and research methodology at graduate and postgraduate level
  • Research focusing on the prevention of chronic disease
  • Reporting in journals with high scientific and societal impact
  • Active membership in several scientific societies and participation in advisory boards

List of most important projects

  • The EUROASPIRE studies
  • WHO CVD Risk: WHO project on Cardiovascular Risk Estimation
  • ESC Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Programme - The Patient Survey project
  • DENCO: Towards successful dengue control
  • ASIALINK: Centres of excellence for tuberculosis/HIV - strengthening institutional training and research capacity
  • Strengthening public health policies in health sector reforms in Latin America
  • Epidemiology of Marburg Haemorrhagic Fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • System approach to optimising diagnosis of smear-negative tuberculosis in high and low prevalence countries of South America
  • HEARTMAN: Personal decision support system for heart failure management
  • QAPICHE: Quality of life in patients with chronic disease
  • GEN-CHD: Gender differences in the management of CHD patients
  • FEPA: Flemish Employees' Physical Activity study
  • STRAW-Project: Comprehensive real-time modelling study of stress at work using portable devices
  • ASKLEPIOS: longitudinal population study focusing on the interplay between ageing, cardiovascular haemodynamics and inflammation in (preclinical) cardiovascular disease
  • MONICA/RACA-Ghent: registry of acute coronary syndromes
  • “Valorisation of available Sciensano data sources in an integrated framework to assess the past, present and future contribution of excess body weight to the societal impact of NCDs in Belgium”.  For more information, please contact:



Prof. Emeriti

 -  Primary and secondary prevention, cardiovascular epidemiology

 - Social epidemiology, tropical medicine, prevention

Scientific staff

  • Prof dr Katrien Vanthomme
  • Larissa Bolliger
  • Prof dr Els Clays
  • em Prof dr Guy De Backer
  • Prof dr Delphine De Smedt
  • Vanessa Gorasso
  • Margo Ketels
  • Dr Lieve Vandendaele
  • em Prof dr Patrick Vanderstuyft
  • Prof dr Koen Van Herck
  • Heleen Van Puyvelde
  • Lisa Van Wilder
  • Cheïma Amrouch
  • Yasmine Khan

Administrative staff

Most important national and international partnerships

  • European Society of Cardiology
  • Cardiovascular Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, UK
  • NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC)
  • International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH)
  • IPD-Work (“Individual-participant-data meta-analysis in working populations”) consortium
  • National Institute of Preventive Cardiology, National University of Ireland-Galway, Galway, Ireland
  • National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Department of Intelligent Systems, Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
  • Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
  • Belgian institute for health Sciensano, Brussels, Belgium
  • Vlaams Agentschap Zorg en Gezondheid

Contact data

Department of Public Health and Primary Care
Unit of Epidemiology and Prevention
Ghent University Hospital
C. Heymanslaan 10 entrance 42 (building K3, 4th floor)
B-9000 Ghent

Phone: 0032 (0)9 332 36 17