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The impact of war-induced stress on the development and progression of arterial hypertension and cardiovascular disease in Ukrainian female refugees

This research is part of the project No. 2022/45/P/NZ5/02812 co-funded by the National Science Centre and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 945339.

About Project

Hypertension (AH) is the leading cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality worldwide. Growing evidence supports the impact of psychological factors on arterial hypertension and cardiovascular outcomes, such as traumatic experiences and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This association can be mediated by different and interconnecting pathways, including neurohormonal and immunity-mediated mechanisms. The current war in Ukraine is causing exposure of millions of inhabitants to traumatic experiences and severe stress. Part of Ukrainian population was induced to leave its country to escaping war, and currently approximately 2 millions of Ukrainian refugees are present in Poland, mostly women and children from Eastern regions. The scientific goal of this project is to assess of the impact of war-induced stress on arterial hypertension and cardiovascular diseases in Ukrainian refugees. A further goal of this project is the treatment of arterial hypertension and PTSD in this population, in order to improve the health and well-being and to decrease mid- and long- term cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In addition, this project has the aim to identify mechanisms underlying the association between arterial hypertension and PTSD, in order to improve management and treatment of these conditions. We will test the hypothesis that psychological stress and trauma exposure may increase blood pressure and contribute to arterial hypertension development/worsening and progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD).


Principal Investigator – dr hab. Anna Shalimova, prof. MUG
In 2005, she graduated from Kharkiv National Medical University, Ukraine. Doctor Cardiologist, Internal Medicine Doctor.
Current Position: Medical University of Gdansk, Division of Hypertension and Diabetology: Professor (Gdańsk, Poland) Kharkiv National Medical University, Department of Internal Medicine No 1, Full Professor (Kharkiv, Ukraine).

More about our team =>

About Host Insitution

The Medical University of Gdańsk (MUG) is a modern academic center, recognizable in the country and in the world. The University is characterized by high scientific and development potential, which consists in particular of: experienced and renowned research teams, a growing number of prestigious international publications and grants, as well as a wide range and quality of research confirmed by high categorization of units. The MUG is also the only medical university selected to the elite group of 10 best Polish universities awarded in the prestigious competition Excellence Initiative – Research University. The MUG is gradually improving in the lists of leading universities. It is the best medical university in Poland according to the latest Ranking of Academic Universities of the Educational Foundation Perspektywy.
The project is being carried out in the Division of Hypertension and Diabetology (MUG) and with the support of The Translational Medicine Centre which is is a core-facility, that has been established to pursue transdisciplinary projects in which the evaluation of cardiovascular structure and function may have cognitive and clinical relevance.

News and Events

01.03.2023 – Official start of project implementation. Project will last for 24 months until 28.02.2025.