Vääräsmäki Marja

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


Research unit: PEDEGO


Group leader

Marja Vääräsmäki, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oulu University Hospital


What do we do

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

Senior researchers

  • Eero Kajantie, MD, professor of lifecourse medicine
  • Tuija Männistö, MD, adjunct professor
  • Maarit Niinimäki, MD, adjunct professor
  • Eila Suvanto, MD, adjunct professor

Post doc researchers

  • Hilkka Ijäs, MD, PhD
  • Elina Keikkala, MD, PhD
  • Jaana Männistö, MD, PhD
  • Fanni Westerlund, MD, PhD

PhD students

  • Anna-Leena Heikkinen, MD
  • Jenni Kinnunen, MD
  • Sanna Koivunen, MD
  • Johanna Lumme, MD
  • Sanna Mustaniemi, MD
  • Susanna Savukoski, MD
  • Suvi Turunen, MD
  • Matti Viljakainen, MC


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


Last updated: 9.7.2019