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Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease

Current Projects

  • Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology (PURE-SA) study (2005-ongoing): The PURE study is an international study; designed to examine the effect of lifestyle changes (associated with urbanization) on the development of cardiovascular risk and mortality. In total, 628 communities in urban and rural areas from more than 27 different countries are included in the international PURE study. My research thus far made use of data obtained from the 2 010 participants enrolled in the South African leg of the study. Baseline data collection took place in 2005 with follow-ups in 2010 and 2015. Our research focus is to determine changes in fibrinogen and fibrin clot properties over the 10-year study period and to identify factors contributing to these changes over time as well as the role of fibrinogen and fibrin clot properties in CVD incidence, disease progression and mortality.
  • African-PREDICT study (2013-ongoing): This is a longitudinal study that aims to develop a detailed cardiovascular profile and identify early predictors of cardiovascular disease in young, apparently healthy South Africans from the North West province area. A total of 1200 participants were included and are followed-up every five years.
  • As Co-Chair of the FXIII and Fibrinogen Scientific and Standardization Committee of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasias, I am involved in the standardization of fibrin clot property methodology.  At present different labs world-wide use their own in-house methods as internationally, recognized standard methods do not yet exist. Standardization of these assays will allow the development of healthy normal ranges for the fibrin clot properties as well as enable between-laboratory comparisons.  We are currently working on the standardization of fibrin fiber diameter measurement from scanning electron microscopy images.