Recently, Eva van der Linden successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled 'Epidemiology and epigenetics of cardiovascular risk in African migrants' at the University of Amsterdam. In her thesis she analysed the presence of high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and metabolic syndrome in the participants of the RODAM study, and she studied epigenetic modifications associated with these risk factors. A summary of her results and conclusions can be found here.

End of this month, a delegation of the RODAM research team will present work from the RODAM epigenetic studies at the International Conference of Human Genetics in Cape Town, South Africa. They hope to disseminate their findings on the role of epigenetics in cardiovascular disease in Ghanaian migrants and non-migrants. This is a great opportunity to connect with other researchers in the field and to lay the foundation for future collaborations, aiming to unravel the burden of cardiovascular risk in Ghanaians.

Update 3-3-2023: The conference visit has been highly successfull with an oral presentation by Dr Felix Chilunga and two poster presentations by Eva van der Linden covering results of several epigenetic studies within RODAM. It was a great reunion with Dr Karlijn Meeks who is currently working at the National Institutes of Health in the USA and is part of the RODAM-Pros review board.

RODAM delegates in Cape Town (from left to right: Peter Henneman, Felix Chilunga, Karlijn Meeks and Eva van der Linden)

Good news for everyone interested in the first results of the RODAM prospective cohort study: the cohort profile including a summary of the collected data has been published in BMJ Open. We thank the research assistants, interviewers and other staff of the three research locations who have taken part in gathering the data and, most of all, the Ghanaian volunteers participating in this project. We hope to share more results of the follow-up study with you in the months to follow.

Last month, Muhau Mungamba has started her PhD trajectory, which is a joint degree program between Walter Sisulu University (South Africa) and Amsterdam UMC. The main focus of her project is the role of epigenetics on chronic kidney disease among Arican population using data from the RODAM study. Welcome Muhau!

From 22nd till 25th of February, the Cardiometabolic Health and Diabetes Conference Africa Congress will be held, and "RODAM professor" Prof. Agyemang is member of the Congress Organising Committee. During the scientific programme, many reseachers will present their results of the RODAM study. Amongst others, there will be presentations on stressful life events and the association with cardiovascular diseases, the validation of diabetes risk scores, and on determinants of high blood pressure.

We are excited to share these results from the RODAM study with other researcher in the field of cardiometabolic health in Africa.

For more information about CMH Congress please visit their website.

In October, we included our last Pros-RODAM participants in Amsterdam. This means that as of the 1st of November 2021, the Pros-RODAM data collection has been completed inall study sites, which is a huge milestone. We would like to thank all participants, research assistants, interviewers and other staff of the research locations who have
taken part in the data collection.

We started with the cleaning of data, and hope the data will soon be available for analysis. We are looking forward to share the first results with you soon.

On Wednesday 8th September 2021, 16h00 CET, Felix Chilunga will publicly defend his PhD thesis entitled Beyond the traditional risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases among transitioning African populations: An investigation into novel epidemiological and epigenetic factors - including several papers analysing data from the RODAM study. Good luck with your defence, Felix!

Eva van der Linden, Pros-RODAM PhD student, has received Fulbright Scholarship to visit National Institute of Health (Bethesda, USA)! She will visit the Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health to learn more about (epi-) genetic analysis in the context of migration and global health. During a special award ceremony at the US Embassy in Wassenaar, she received this prestigious grant.

This week, Felix Chilunga and team published their results in The Lancet Healthy Longevity comparing the epigenetic age of RODAM participants living in Ghana and Europe, and showed that the cells of European Ghanaians were ageing less rapidly than in the home-based Ghanaians. This interesting finding and its implications are discussed on the website of Amsterdam UMC and in a commentary in The Lancet Healthy Longevity.

Hurray, the data collection for the RODAM follow-up have been completed in the study sites in rural and urban Ghana. Huge thanks to our team in Ghana for all the hard work that has been put in to making the RODAM follow-up data collection a success. Bravo!

Prof. Ellis Owusu-Dabo, RODAM study partner, has been appointed as a Pro-Vice Chancellor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology. The RODAM team congratulates him on this new position!

Prof. Liam Smeeth, RODAM study partner,  has been appointed as a Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Congratulations on this achievement!

Prof. Charles Agyemang has been appointed as a Scientific Chair for Global Society of Migration, Ethnicity, Race & Health

The RODAM website has been updated, including a new lay-out and information on the follow-up data collection, that is currently in its final stages.

The RODAM study was supported by the European Commission under the Framework Programme (Grant Number: 278901), 
 the European Research Council (Grant Number: 772244) and the Amsterdam UMC.