What is RODAM follow-up  
(Pros-RODAM) study?

Hypertension is the single most important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. People of African descent especially those in the diaspora have been disproportionately affected and this appears to be a major contributor to the the high prevalence of cardiovascular complications such as stroke, and end stage renal failure observed in these populations. Unfortunately, for so long, the underlying reasons for the increased risk of hypertension still remain a mystery. The lack of understanding of the underlying determinants is hindering policy makers’ and clinical efforts in addressing the problem head on. 

Between 2019-2021, all participants previously examined in RODAM baseline in Amsterdam, rural and urban Ghana, have been approached to participate in follow-up data collection. In this way, the RODAM study tries to detect over-time changes in health. This information ultimately provides sound grounds for targeted prevention and treatment strategies for cardiovascular diseases and its risk factors, such as hypertension, among African populations.

With the start of the follow-up data collection, the RODAM study has been turned into a prospective cohort study, and is a unique transcontinental project.

Aim & Objectives

The overall aim of this follow-up RODAM study is to identify key changes in environmental exposures and epigenetic modifications driving the high burden of hypertension among migrants. To meet this challenge, we have established a novel prospective cohort study of homogeneous sub-Saharan African migrant group (Ghanaians) living in Europe (The Netherlands) who are compared both to their counterparts who did not migrate and who still live in rural and urban Ghana and to the European Dutch host population.

With this novel transcontinental prospective cohort, our key objectives are:
To identify environmental factors and epigenetic modifications associated with hypertension prevalence in sub-Saharan African subjects;
To assess the causality of these associations using longitudinal data on changes in epigenetic and environmental factors and hypertension incidence;
To assess the influence of (change in) environmental factors to changes in epigenetic modifications;
To assess the contribution of epigenetic modifications, together with environmental factors, to differences in hypertension risk
between migrant and non-migrants (i.e. Europeans and sub-Saharan African  compatriots living in Africa);
To use findings to inform targeted prevention, and to provide basis for improving hypertension diagnosis and treatment.

Beside these key objectives, the team will also study several health outcomes including cardiovascular diseases and other cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes dyslipidemia, chronic kidney disease and their determinants.
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.