Areas of expertise
Professor Markus Juonala (MD, PhD, University of Turku) is a specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology at the Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland. Since 2001, he has been conducting research on longitudinal studies examining the importance of childhood risk factors on later cardiovascular health. His PhD work was based primarily on the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study (University of Turku, April 2005). Since 2008, he has had a major involvement in the development of the International Childhood Cardiovascular Cohort (i3C) Consortium that combines the efforts of the main longitudinal studies worldwide. In June 2014, he was appointed as Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Turku. In 2014-2015 and 2018-2019 he has been working as the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Fellow in Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI).
His career publications total is 270 (h-index 44) with published highlights including a first-author paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, the first-ranked general medicine journal, one paper in JAMA, the third-ranked general medicine journal and 30 papers (11 as first/last author) published in either the number one, two, or three ranked cardiovascular disease journals (17 in Circulation, five in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, eight in the European Heart Journal).
Teaching responsibilities: 1) Internal medicine for medical students, 2) Internal medicine specialisation programme for MDs
Special interest areas: Acute internal medicine, endocrinology, lipidology
Professor Juonala’s principal research focus has been to provide novel information on the effects of childhood risk factors on cardiovascular health in adulthood. Beginning from the summer of 2008 he has led a research group within the Young Finns Study and i3c consortium with special interest on cardiometabolic risk factors. The most important findings of his research have provided information on childhood and early adulthood risk factors for atherosclerosis, suggesting that childhood risk factors, such as dyslipidaemia, elevated blood pressure and smoking, predict early atherosclerosis and its progression independent of adult risk factors levels. Concerning cardiometabolic risk factors, his group has been able to show that overweight and metabolic syndrome diagnosed either in childhood or adulthood is predictive of carotid atherosclerosis and its progression in adulthood. However, at the time of obesity epidemic, the most important findings concern the reversibility of cardiovascular risk. His work has demonstrated that although overweight and metabolic syndrome are predictive of early atherosclerosis, favourable changes in lifestyle associated with weight maintenance or reduction improve cardiovascular health.