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Maryam Kavousi



Maryam Kavousi

Phone+31 (0)10 70 43997

Biographical Sketch



Institution and location


  Completion Date

     Field of Study

Erasmus University Medical Center



     Cardiovascular Epidemiology

Utrecht University Medical Center



     Clinical Epidemiology

Shiraz University of Medical Sciences




Personal Statement

I am assistant professor of cardiovascular epidemiology at the Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. My research is focused on cardiovascular disease epidemiology with an emphasis on gender differences. I have been studying risk factor development and trajectories in atherosclerosis process. My studies mainly involve primary prevention of cardiovascular disease; covering the disease course from an asymptomatic phase, to advent of sub-clinical disease, to overt disease. My research comprises both traditional and novel cardiovascular risk factors; including omics and markers representative of different pathophysiological pathways. The studies are mainly conducted within the large population-based Rotterdam Study. Additionally, I am actively involved in and leading some large (inter)national collaborative efforts. I am also a key collaborator in the CHARGE (Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology) consortium. I have published over 115 international scientific papers (H-index = 30) and currently supervise 5 PhD-students and 3 MSc-students.

Positions and Honors

Positions and employment:

2015 – Present: Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands 
2013 – 2015: Post-doctoral researcher, Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands


2015    Prestigious VENI research grant
2015    Ranked 4th place in the VIVA400 list as one of the inspiring and successful women in the Netherlands (category: Smart Heads) 
2014    Prestigious Dutch UNESCO – L’Oréal fellowship “For Women in Science” and 3 months fellowship in NIAS-KNAW
2014    European Society of Cardiology (ESC) fellowship
2014    European Society of Cardiology (ESC) best poster award (last author)
2012    Selected as top 10 PhD students in Erasmus University
2011    Selected as top 10% presented research in the American Heart Association (AHA) Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention Conference, Atlanta, USA
2010    Selected as top 5 Dutch researchers in the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions, Chicago, USA
2008    Awarded Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology degree with honor (cum laude)

Contributions to Science

I. Although cardiovascular disease remains one of the leading causes of death and disability for both women and men, considerable gender differences in disease pathophysiology, presentation, treatment, and prognosis exist. Addressing gender differences in atherosclerosis process is among the key steps towards precision medicine. For generating in-depth comparative insights between women and men, I largely dedicate my focus to investigating gender differences in atherosclerosis process and the role of women-specific risk factors in this regard.
Relevant papers:
1. Bano A, …, Kavousi M. Thyroid function and the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular morbidity and mortality: The Rotterdam Study. Circulation Research. 2017;121:1392-1400.
2. Jaspers L, …, Kavousi M. Sex steroids and cardiovascular health in men and postmenopausal women: the Rotterdam Study. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2016;101:2844-2852.
3. Jaspers L, …, Kavousi M. Development of a healthy ageing score in the population-based Rotterdam Study: evaluating age and sex differences. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. 2017;18:276.e1-276.
4. Jaspers L, Kavousi M, …, Franco OH. Fertile lifespan characteristics and all-cause and cause-specific mortality among postmenopausal women: the Rotterdam Study. Fertility and Sterility. 2017;107:448-456.
5. Leening MJG, Ferket B, Kavousi M, …, Roos-Hesselink JW. Sex differences in lifetime risk and first manifestation of cardiovascular disease: a prospective population-based cohort study. BMJ – British Medical Journal. 2014;349:g5992.

II. Varying approaches to cardiovascular risk estimation and application of different criteria for treatment recommendations would translate into substantial differences in preventive therapeutic strategies at population level. Due to limitations of current cardiovascular risk estimation algorithms, examining the addition of newer risk markers to established risk scoring systems is an active area of research. My studies have focused on implications of major clinical practice prevention guidelines at population level and the added value of newer risk markers to conventional cardiovascular risk factors among women and men.
Relevant papers:
1. Kavousi M, …, Greenland P. Prevalence and prognostic implications of Coronary artery calcification in low-risk women: a meta-analysis. JAMA. 2016; 316:2126-2134.
2. Kavousi M, …, Franco OH. Comparison of application of the ACC/AHA guidelines, Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines, and European Society of Cardiology guidelines for cardiovascular disease prevention in a European cohort. JAMA. 2014;311:1416-1423.
3. Kavousi M, …, Witteman JCM. Markers for prediction of cardiovascular disease risk. JAMA. 2012;308:2561.
4. Kavousi M, …, Witteman JCM. Evaluation of newer risk markers for coronary heart disease risk classification: a cohort study. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2012;156:438-444.

III. Since the advent of genome-wide association studies, I have been part of the Subclinical Working Group within the CHARGE consortium. Our collaborative efforts have led to discovery of genetic variants for various subclinical measures of atherosclerosis, giving insight into the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease. More recently, we have focused on sexual dimorphism in genetics of atherosclerosis with an aim to better understand the atherosclerotic process and clinical outcomes in women.
Relevant papers:
1. Sarnowski C, Kavousi, M, …, Murabito JM. Genetic variants associated with earlier age at menopause increase the risk of cardiovascular events in women. Menopause. 2017.
2. Kavousi M, Bielak LF, Peyser PA. Genetic Research and Women’s Heart Disease: A Primer Current Atherosclerosis Reports. 2016;18:67.
3. Murabito JM *, White CC *, Kavousi M *, …, Kronenberg F. Association Between Chromosome 9p21 Variants and the Ankle-Brachial Index Identified by a Meta-Analysis of 21 Genome-Wide Association Studies. Circulation Cardiovascular Genetics. 2012;5:100-112.
4. Bis JC *, Kavousi M *, …, O'Donnell CJ. Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies from the CHARGE consortium identifies common variants associated with carotid intima media thickness and plaque. Nature Genetics. 2011;43:940-947.
5. O’Donnell CJ *, Kavousi M *, …, Witteman JCM. Genome-wide association study for coronary artery calcification with follow-up in myocardial infarction. Circulation. 2011;124:2855-2864.

* denotes equal contributions

Research Support

As principle investigator:

2017 – 2019    Dutch Research Council (ZonMw): Knowledge synthesis for coronary microvascular disease: a gender-specific framework   

2016 – 2018    Erasmus MC (Mrace): Microvascular function in cerebrovascular disease and cognition: a novel method for mapping the microcirculation in general population

2015 – 2018    Dutch Research Council (ZonMw) VENI grant: Sex differences in the risk factor profile for atherosclerosis in various vessels      

2014 – 2015    UNESCO – L'Oréal Fellowship for Women in Science: Cardiovascular risk age and its correspondence with lifetime cardiovascular risk among women   

2014                EFSD: Diabetes as a cardiovascular risk equivalent: exploring gender differences

2012 – 2014    AXA Research Fund: The healthy longevity phenotype: definition, associated factors, and prediction           

As co-applicant:

2017 – 2019    Dutch Research Council (ZonMw)/ Dutch Heart Foundation: Sex-specific net clinical effect of the “Big Five” cardiovascular drugs        

2017 – 2019    Dutch Heart Foundation: Is there a relation between the menstrual cycle and cardiac symptoms?           

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