Olli Raitakari profile picture
Academy Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine (CAPC)


+358 29 450 2304
Kiinamyllynkatu 10

Areas of expertise

cardiovascular and metabolic diseases
risk factors
vascular epidemiology
genetic epidemiology
dietary intervention
cohort studies
follow-up studies


2001   Docent in Clinical Physiology
1997-1999  Postdoc training, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia
1997   Docent in Epidemiology
1996   Specialist in Clinical Physiology 
1995   Doctorate, PhD
1989   Licentiate in Medicine, MD


2017-                 Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine, Director of the Research Centre of Applied and 
                          Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Turku, Finland                         



2012-2016                          Academy Professor, University of Turku

2007-2016                          Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine (part time), University of Turku

2007-2008                          Senior Scientist Grant, Academy of Finland

2004-2016                          Chief Physician, Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Turku
                                           University Hospital (leave of absence 2012-2016)

2002-2004                          Consultant in Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Turku University Hospital

2002 (1 mo)                        Head of Nuclear Medicine Department, Turku University Hospital

2000-2003 (3 mo)               Head of Clinical Physiology Department, Turku University Hospital

2000-2005                          Senior Fellow Post, Academy of Finland

1998-2000                          Postdoctoral Research Post, Academy of Finland

1996-1997                          Consultant in Clinical Physiology, Turku University Hospital

1991-1996                          Positions as Resident in Clinical Chemistry, Nuclear Medicine, and Clinical 
                                           Physiology, Turku University Hospital

1988-1990                          Positions as General Practioner and Resident in Internal Medicine or Surgery


Evidence suggest that many non-communicable disease outcomes have roots in childhood and may even stem of adverse ancestral exposures. Improved knowledge how various ancestral and early-life exposures lead to adult disease outcomes is essential in developing better preventive practices and policies that lead to improved public health. My mission has been to contribute to this knowledge-base by working in epidemiologic cohort studies with follow-up from childhood to adulthood. I am the Principal Investigator of the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study (YFS), the largest study in Europe with a follow-up of cardiovascular risk factors from childhood to adulthood. I am also the Director of the STRIP Study, which is a leading long-term pediatric dietary intervention study testing the hypothesis that modifying the fat quality diet will have beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk early in life. During the past years, I have organized several field studies in these cohorts, and introduced novel technologies, such as imaging studies, genetic epidemiology methods and metabolomics approaches in these unique population resources. Our research has contributed to the understanding of pre-clinical development of atherosclerosis in children and young adults, including the effects of diet, life-style, metabolic risk factors, psychological traits and psychosocial factors, inflammation, hormones and genetic markers. For example, by applying non-invasive imaging methods in the Young Finns Study, we have demonstrated that exposure to adverse lipids, elevated blood pressure and obesity in childhood is related to atherosclerosis development in adulthood (JAMA 2003). Subsequent work stemmed from this initial observation has led to numerous original publications that have shown in detail how exposure to a large range of aetiogenic factors early in life contribute to the development of cardio-metabolic outcomes in adulthood. For example, by pooling international i3C Consortium data, we have demonstrated that overweight or obese children who became non-obese by adulthood had similar risks of many cardio-metabolic adult outcomes as individuals who were never obese (NEJM 2011). Thus, the results of our studies have clearly demonstrated that individual’s exposure to various stressors in early life is contributing to his/her adult phenotype and disease risk. The results have had significant impact on preventive practices. As a concrete demonstration of the international recognition and impact of my team’s work, many of our studies are widely cited in all updated paediatric guidelines on cardiovascular prevention both in Europe and in US.


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The European Eye Epidemiology spectral-domain optical coherence tomography classification of macular diseases for epidemiological studies (2019)

Acta Ophthalmologica
Gattoussi S, Buitendijk GHS, Peto T, Leung I, Schmitz-Valckenberg S, Oishi A, Wolf S, Deak G, Delcourt C, Klaver CCW, Korobelnik JF, Acar N, Anas-Tosopoulos E, Azuara-Blanco A, Berendschot T, Bertelsen G, Binquet C, Bird A, Bobak M, Larsen MB, Boon C, Bourne R, Bretillon L, Broe R, Bron A, Buitendijk G, Cachulo ML, Capuano V, Carriere I, Chakravarthy U, Chan M, Chang P, Colijn J, Cree A, Creuzot-Garcher C, Cumberland P, Cunha-Vaz J, Daien V, De Jong E, Deak G, Delcourt C, Delyfer MN, den Hollan-Der A, Dietzel M, Erke MG, Faria P, Farinha C, Fauser S, Finger R, Fletcher A, Foster P, Found P, Gorgels T, Grauslund J, Grus F, Hammond C, Helmer C, Hense HW, Hermann M, Hoehn R, Hogg R, Holz F, Hoyng C, Jansonius N, Janssen S, Kersten E, Khawaja A, Klaver C, Korobelnik JF, Lamparter J, Le Goff M, Lechanteur Y, Lehtimaki T, Lotery A, Mauschitz M, Meester M, Merle B, zu Westrup VM, Midena E, Miotto S, Mirshahi A, Mohan-Said S, Muldrew A, Murta J, Nickels S, Nunes S, Pfeiffer N, Piermarocchi S, Prokofyeva E, Rahi J, Raitakari O, Rauscher F, Ribeiro L, Rougier MB, Rudnicka A, Sahel J, Salonikiou A, Sanchez C, Schuster A, Schweitzer C, Segato T, Shehata J, Silva R, Silvestri G, Souied E, Speckauskas M, Springelkamp H, Tapp R, Topouzis F, van Leeuwen E, Verhoeven V, Verzijden T, Von Hanno T, Wiedemann P, Williams K, Wolfram C, Yip J, Zerbib J, Zerbib J, Yip J, Wolfram C, Williams K, Wiedemann P, Von Hanno T
(A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä)

Maternal and fetal genetic effects on birth weight and their relevance to cardio-metabolic risk factors (2019)

Nature Genetics
Warrington N.M., Beaumont R.N., Horikoshi M., Day F.R., Helgeland Ø., Laurin C., Bacelis J., Peng S., Hao K., Feenstra B., Wood A.R., Mahajan A., Tyrrell J., Robertson N.R., Rayner N.W., Qiao Z., Moen G.-H., Vaudel M., Marsit C.J., Chen J., Nodzenski M., Schnurr T.M., Zafarmand M.H., Bradfield J.P., Grarup N., Kooijman M.N., Li-Gao R., Geller F., Ahluwalia T.S., Paternoster L., Rueedi R., Huikari V., Hottenga J.-J., Lyytikäinen L.-P., Cavadino A., Metrustry S., Cousminer D.L., Wu Y., Thiering E., Wang C.A., Have C.T., Vilor-Tejedor N., Joshi P.K., Painter J.N., Ntalla I., Myhre R., Pitkänen N., van Leeuwen E.M., Joro R., Lagou V., Richmond R.C., Espinosa A., Barton S.J., Inskip H.M., Holloway J.W., Santa-Marina L., Estivill X., Ang W., Marsh J.A., Reichetzeder C., Marullo L., Hocher B., Lunetta K.L., Murabito J.M., Relton C.L., Kogevinas M., Chatzi L., Allard C., Bouchard L., Hivert M.-F., Zhang G., Muglia L.J., Heikkinen J., Morgen C.S., van Kampen A.H.C., van Schaik B.D.C., Mentch F.D., Langenberg C., Luan J., Scott R.A., Zhao J.H., Hemani G., Ring S.M., Bennett A.J., Gaulton K.J., Fernandez-Tajes J., van Zuydam N.R., Medina-Gomez C., de Haan H.G., Rosendaal F.R., Kutalik Z., Marques-Vidal P., Das S., Willemsen G., Mbarek H., Müller-Nurasyid M., Standl M., Appel E.V.R., Fonvig C.E., Trier C., van Beijsterveldt C.E.M., Murcia M., Bustamante M., Bonas-Guarch S., Hougaard D.M., Mercader J.M., Linneberg A., Schraut K.E., Lind P.A., Medland S.E., Shields B.M., Knight B.A., Chai J.-F., Panoutsopoulou K., Bartels M., Sánchez F., Stokholm J., Torrents D., Vinding R.K., Willems S.M., Atalay M., Chawes B.L., Kovacs P., Prokopenko I., Tuke M.A., Yaghootkar H., Ruth K.S., Jones S.E., Loh P.-R., Murray A., Weedon M.N., Tönjes A., Stumvoll M., Michaelsen K.F., Eloranta A.-M., Lakka T.A., van Duijn C.M., Kiess W., Körner A., Niinikoski H., Pahkala K., Raitakari O.T., Jacobsson B., Zeggini E., Dedoussis G.V., Teo Y.-Y., Saw S.-M., Montgomery G.W., Campbell H., Wilson J.F., Vrijkotte T.G.M., Vrijheid M., de Geus E.J.C.N., Hayes M.G., Kadarmideen H.N., Holm J.-C., Beilin L.J., Pennell C.E., Heinrich J., Adair L.S., Borja J.B., Mohlke K.L., Eriksson J.G., Widén E.E., Hattersley A.T., Spector T.D., Kähönen M., Viikari J.S., Lehtimäki T., Boomsma D.I., Sebert S., Vollenweider P., Sørensen T.I.A., Bisgaard H., Bønnelykke K., Murray J.C., Melbye M., Nohr E.A., Mook-Kanamori D.O., Rivadeneira F., Hofman A., Felix J.F., Jaddoe V.W.V., Hansen T., Pisinger C., Vaag A.A., Pedersen O., Uitterlinden A.G., Järvelin M.-R., Power C., Hyppönen E., Scholtens D.M., Lowe W.L., Jr, Davey Smith G., Timpson N.J., Morris A.P., Wareham N.J., Hakonarson H., Grant S.F.A., Frayling T.M., Lawlor D.A., Njølstad P.R., Johansson S., Ong K.K., McCarthy M.I., Perry J.R.B., Evans D.M., Freathy R.M.; EGG Consortium
(A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä)

Discovery of mitochondrial DNA variants associated with genome-wide blood cell gene expression: a population-based mtDNA sequencing study (2019)

Human Molecular Genetics
Jaakko Laaksonen, Ilkka Seppälä, Emma Raitoharju, Nina Mononen, Leo-Pekka Lyytikäinen, Melanie Waldenberger, Thomas Illig, Maija Lepistö, Henrikki Almusa, Pekka Ellonen, Nina Hutri-Kähönen, Markus Juonala, Mika Kähönen, Olli Raitakari, Jukka T. Salonen, Terho Lehtimäki
(A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä)

Multi-ancestry genome-wide gene-smoking interaction study of 387,272 individuals identifies new loci associated with serum lipids (2019)

Nature Genetics
Bentley AR, Sung YJ, Brown MR, Winkler TW, Kraja AT, Ntalla I, Schwander K, Chasman DI, Lim E, Deng X, Guo XQ, Liu JM, Lu YC, Cheng CY, Sim X, Vojinovic D, Huffman JE, Musani SK, Li CW, Feitosa MF, Richard MA, Noordam R, Baker J, Chen GJ, Aschard H, Bartz TM, Ding JZ, Dorajoo R, Manning AK, Rankinen T, Smith AV, Tajuddin SM, Zhao W, Graff M, Alver M, Boissel M, Chai JF, Chen X, Divers J, Evangelou E, Gao C, Goel A, Hagemeijer Y, Harris SE, Hartwig FP, He MA, Horimoto ARVR, Hsu FC, Hung YJ, Jackson AU, Kasturiratne A, Komulainen P, Kuhnel B, Leander K, Lin KH, Luan JA, Lyytikainen LP, Matoba N, Nolte IM, Pietzner M, Prins B, Riaz M, Robino A, Said MA, Schupf N, Scott RA, Sofer T, Stancakova A, Takeuchi F, Tayo BO, van der Most PJ, Varga TV, Wang TD, Wang YJ, Ware EB, Wen WQ, Xiang YB, Yanek LR, Zhang WH, Zhao JH, Adeyemo A, Afaq S, Amin N, Amini M, Arking DE, Arzumanyan Z, Aung T, Ballantyne C, Barr RG, Bielak LF, Boerwinkle E, Bottinger EP, Broeckel U, Brown M, Cade BE, Campbell A, Canouil M, Charumathi S, Chen YDI, Christensen K, Concas MP, Connell JM, de las Fuentes L, de Silva HJ, de Vries PS, Doumatey A, Duan Q, Eaton CB, Eppinga RN, Faul JD, Floyd JS, Forouhi NG, Forrester T, Friedlander Y, Gandin I, Gao H, Ghanbari M, Gharib SA, Gigante B, Giulianini F, Grabe HJ, Gu CC, Harris TB, Heikkinen S, Heng CK, Hirata M, Hixson JE, Ikram MA, Jia YC, Joehanes R, Johnson C, Jonas JB, Justice AE, Katsuya T, Khor CC, Kilpelainen TO, Koh WP, Kolcic I, Kooperberg C, Krieger JE, Kritchevsky SB, Kubo M, Kuusisto J, Lakka TA, Langefeld CD, Langenberg C, Launer LJ, Lehne B, Lewis CE, Li YZ, Liang JJ, Lin S, Liu CT, Liu JJ, Liu K, Loh M, Lohman KK, Louie T, Luzzi A, Magi R, Mahajan A, Manichaikul AW, McKenzie CA, Meitinger T, Metspalu A, Milaneschi Y, Milani L, Mohlke KL, Momozawa Y, Morris AP, Murray AD, Nalls MA, Nauck M, Nelson CP, North KE, O'Connell JR, Palmer ND, Papanicolau GJ, Pedersen NL, Peters A, Peyser PA, Polasek O, Poulter N, Raitakari OT, Reiner AP, Renstrom F, Rice TK, Rich SS, Robinson JG, Rose LM, Rosendaal FR, Rudan I, Schmidt CO, Schreiner PJ, Scott WR, Sever P, Shi Y, Sidney S, Sims M, Smith JA, Snieder H, Starr JM, Strauch K, Stringham HM, Tan NYQ, Tang H, Taylor KD, Teo YY, Tham YC, Tiemeier H, Turner ST, Uitterlinden AG, van Heemst D, Waldenberger M, Wang HM, Wang L, Wang LH, Wei WB, Williams CA, Wilson G, Wojczynski MK, Yao J, Young K, Yu CZ, Yuan JM, Zhou J, Zonderman AB, Becker DM, Boehnke M, Bowden DW, Chambers JC, Cooper RS, de Faire U, Deary IJ, Elliott P, Esko T, Farrall M, Franks PW, Freedman BI, Froguel P, Gasparini P, Gieger C, Horta BL, Juang JMJ, Kamatani Y, Kammerer CM, Kato N, Kooner JS, Laakso M, Laurie CC, Lee IT, Lehtimaki T, Magnusson PKE, Oldehinkel AJ, Penninx BWJH, Pereira AC, Rauramaa R, Redline S, Samani NJ, Scott J, Shu XO, van der Harst P, Wagenknecht LE, Wang JS, Wang YX, Wareham NJ, Watkins H, Weir DR, Wickremasinghe AR, Wu TC, Zeggini E, Zheng W, Bouchard C, Evans MK, Gudnason V, Kardia SLR, Liu YM, Psaty BM, Ridker PM, van Dam RM, Mook-Kanamori DO, Fornage M, Province MA, Kelly TN, Fox ER, Hayward C, van Duijn CM, Tai ES, Wong TY, Loos RJF, Franceschini N, Rotter JI, Zhu XF, Bierut LJ, Gauderman WJ, Rice K, Munroe PB, Morrison AC, Rao DC, Rotimi CN, Cupples LA
(A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä)

Genetic and environmental perturbations lead to regulatory decoherence (2019)

Amanda Lea, Meena Subramaniam, Arthur Ko, Terho Lehtimäki, Emma Raitoharju, Mika Kähönen, Ilkka Seppälä, Nina Mononen, Olli T Raitakari, Mika Ala-Korpela, Päivi Pajukanta, Noah Zaitlen, Julien F Ayroles
(A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä)

Genetic landscape of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease identifies heterogeneous cell-type and phenotype associations (2019)

Nature Genetics
Sakornsakolpat P, Prokopenko D, Lamontagne M, Reeve NF, Guyatt AL, Jackson VE, Shrine N, Qiao DD, Bartz TM, Kim DK, Lee MK, Latourelle JC, Li XN, Morrow JD, Obeidat M, Wyss AB, Bakke P, Barr RG, Beaty TH, Belinsky SA, Brusselle GG, Crapo JD, de Jong K, DeMeo DL, Fingerlin TE, Gharib SA, Gulsvik A, Hall IP, Hokanson JE, Kim WJ, Lomas DA, London SJ, Meyers DA, O'Connor GT, Rennard SI, Schwartz DA, Sliwinski P, Sparrow D, Strachan DP, Tal-Singer R, Tesfaigzi Y, Vestbo J, Vonk JM, Yim JJ, Zhou XB, Bosse Y, Manichaikul A, Lahousse L, Silverman EK, Boezen HM, Wain LV, Tobin MD, Hobbs BD, Cho; SpiroMeta Consortium & International COPD Genetics Consortium
(A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä)

Increased High-Density Lipoprotein Levels Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration Evidence from the EYE-RISK and European Eye Epidemiology Consortia (2019)

Ophthalmology: Journal of The American Academy of Ophthalmology
Johanna M. Colijn, Anneke I. den Hollander, Ayse Demirkan, Audrey Cougnard-Grégoire, Timo Verzijden, Eveline Kersten, Magda A. Meester-Smoor, Benedicte M.J. Merle, Grigorios Papageorgiou, Shahzad Ahmad, Monique T. Mulder, Miguel Angelo Costa, Pascale Benlian, Geir Bertelsen, Alain M. Bron, Birte Claes, Catherine Creuzot-Garcher, Maja Gran Erke, Sascha Fauser, Paul J. Foster, Christopher J. Hammond, Hans-Werner Hense, Carel B. Hoyng, Anthony P. Khawaja, Jean-Francois Korobelnik, Stefano Piermarocchi, Tatiana Segato, Rufino Silva, Eric H. Souied, Katie M. Williams, Cornelia M. van Duijn, Cécile Delcourt, Caroline C.W. Klaver; for the European Eye Epidemiology Consortium and EYE-RISK Consortium
(A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä)