Pregnancy, delivery and reproductive timespan – significance to the health of the mother and the child

Research group information

Contact information

Research group leader

  • Marja Vääräsmäki

Research group description

Our focus area comprises both epidemiological and clinical research questions from a reproduction perspective. We study how reproductive history, common pregnancy complications, and endocrine and chronic diseases predict maternal and child health in short and long term, throughout the life course. Diseases and conditions of interest include miscarriages, induced abortions, gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, thyroid diseases and importance of vitamin D on reproduction. We are especially interested in studying the effect of these common conditions on the course of pregnancy and delivery and on the subsequent health of the child and the mother, with special interest in glucose tolerance, metabolic disorders and cardiometabolic outcomes. In addition, premature or early menopause and its effect on subsequent health is in our focus.

Pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes, hypertension and thyroid disorders affect vast proportions of all pregnancies and are associated with adverse cardiometabolic health effects across generations. Identifying the magnitude and the mechanisms of these adverse effects is crucial when working towards identifying potentially modifiable risk factors and possible prevention of the adverse effects.

Our group consists of several senior researchers who each are leading different projects within the main study group aim.

Our team

Where are we headed

The aim is to recognize new risk factors for pregnancy complications and to identify how these complications affect the long-term health of the families. We participate in training of new researchers and currently host 7 PhD students, who are anticipated to graduate 2020-2024. We aim to produce high-impact research and well trained next generation researchers. The group has formed an active national network and works also intensively with international contacts, especially in the field of gestational diabetes and thyroid studies. Our studies are nationally and internationally recognized and published results have already been implemented in clinical practice.

Our main collaborators

  • Elizabeth Binder, MD, professor (Max Planck Institute, Munich, Germany)
  • Imperial College, London, UK
  • National Institute of Health and Welfare, Finland
  • National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
  • North Finland Birth Cohort, University of Oulu
  • University of Helsinki
  • University of Rotterdam
  • University of Tampere
  • Toby Andrew, Lecturer, MSc (Imperial College, UK and University of Lille, France)

How to find us