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Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute

Cultural diversity and modifiable risk factors of chronic disease

A good proportion of chronic diseases is, in principle, avoidable. We examine the determinants of increased and decreased all-cause and cause-specific mortality. For this purpose we do not restrict to established risk factors like smoking, alcohol abuse and obesity, but also consider alternative and subjective determinants like self-rated health, socio-cultural and environmental factors. Behavioral data is retrieved from studies conducted in the 1970s to 1990s for which a mortality follow-up until 2016 could be established through record linkage with the Swiss National Cohort. A special emphasis is given to anthropometrics and physical activity.


  • Independent at heart: persistent association of altitude with
    ischemic heart disease mortality after consideration of climate,
    topography and built environment - a longitudinal cohort study.
    Faeh D, Moser A, Panczak R, Bopp M, Röösli M, Spoerri A.
    JECH 2016;70:798-806
  • Heavy smoking is more strongly associated with
    general unhealthy lifestyle than obesity and underweight.
    Lohse T, Rohrmann S, Bopp M, Chiolero A, Faeh D.
    PLoS ONE 2016;11(2):e0148563
  • Adherence to cancer prevention
    recommendations and mortality: a census-linked cohort.
    Lohse T, Faeh D, Bopp M, Rohrmann S.
    Am J of Clin Nutr 2016;104:678-685
  • The change in the sex ratio in multiple sclerosis is driven by birth cohorts effects.
    Ajdacic-Gross V, Schmid M, Mütsch M, Steinemann N, Von Wyl V, Bopp M.
    Eur J Neurology 2017;24:98-104
  • Type A personality and mortality: Competitiveness
    but not speed is associated with increased risk.
    Lohse T, Rohrmann S, Richard A, Bopp M, Faeh D.
    Atherosclerosis 2017;262:19-24
  • Body height and mortality - mortality follow-up of four Swiss surveys.
    Rohrmann S, Haile SR, Staub K, Bopp M, Faeh D.
    Prev Med 2017;101:67-71
  • Individual development and potential
    determinants of excess weight – a longitudinal study.
    Papandreou A, Bopp M, Braun J, Staub K, Faeh D.
    Swiss Med Wkly 2017;147:w14501
  • Which life domains impact most on self-rated health?
    A cross-cultural study of Switzerland and its neighbors.
    Häusler N, Hämmig O, Bopp M.
    Social Indicators Research 2018;139:782-802
  • Medical end-of-life practices in Swiss cultural regions: a death certificate study
    Hurst SA, Zellweger U, Bosshard G, Bopp M.
    BMC Medicine 2018;16:54
  • BMI-mortality-association: shape independent of
    smoking status but different for chronic lung disease and lung cancer.
    Faeh D, Kaufmann M, Haile SR, Bopp M.
    Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2018;13:1851-1855
  • Physician-related determinants of medical end-of-life
    decisions – a mortality follow-back study in Switzerland.
    Bopp M, Penders YWH, Hurst SA, Bosshard G, Puhan MA.
    PLoS ONE 2018;13(9):e020396

Weiterführende Informationen


Matthias Bopp (Project Leader)

David Fäh

Miriam Wanner


Multiple sources