Hui-Xin Wang


Associate Professor, Medicine
+46 8 690 6867

huixin.wang@ki.se
KI Profile page: http://ki.se/en/people/huiwan

Hui-Xin WangHui-Xin Wang is an Associate Professor at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. She received her PhD in geriatric epidemiology 2001 and did postdoctoral training in cardiovascular epidemiology 2004. She has co-supervised three PhD students who have completed their dissertation work. At present, she is a main supervisor of three PhD students. She serves regularly as reviewer to a number of international journals. Her scientific production has led to about 46 original publications in peer-reviewed journals and 16 reviews, letters and book chapters. The current citations are 2296 and the h-index is 22 by August 2015 (Web of Science).

Her major research field is epidemiology of neurodegenerative diseases in the elderly and she has also research experience in epidemiological studies on cardiovascular disease. Her major contribution to research concerns the following topics:

  1. Lifestyle factors and risk of dementia. Her research findings have provided evidence of the influence of lifestyle factors on risk of dementia and cognitive decline. A rich social network, an active lifestyle, participation in different types of leisure activities was each related to a reduced dementia risk and cognitive decline, as well postpones dementia onset by providing cognitive reserve. On the other hand, having a deficient in B12 or folate was related to increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In addition, we conducted the first study showing that smoking is not a protective factor for dementia or AD. The protective effect of smoking on dementia reported from cross-sectional studies was due to differential survival among demented smokers and non- demented smokers.
  2. Psychosocial factors and risk of dementia. It is known that factors acting at different time periods (genetic, biological, environmental factors, as well as their interaction) in the life course play important roles in brain aging. From the life-course perspective, her research results revealed that early life education not only has a protective effect on risk of dementia but also modifies the negative effect of APOE ε4 on risk of dementia. She and colleagues have also demonstrated that mid-life high levels of occupation-related psychosocial stress and low levels of work complexity with data and people were associated with increased risk of dementia and AD in late life. She has also provided evidence that late life low neuroticism in combination with high extraversion is the personality trait associated with the lowest dementia risk. However, among socially isolated individuals even high neuroticism alone seems to increase dementia risk. In addition, she is also interested in study the effect of different measures of stress over the life course on brain aging.
  3. Psychosocial factors and progression of coronary heart disease. There is strong and consistent evidence that lack of social support is an independent risk factor for incident coronary heart disease, but its impact on disease progression had not been well documented. We have demonstrated that lack of emotional support, social isolation, and lack of interpersonal social relations are important risk factors for accelerated disease progression in middle-aged women. In addition, in women with coronary disease, depressive symptoms and social isolation in combination accelerated disease progression, suggesting a direct psychosocial effect on the atherosclerotic process. Moreover, stress from family or work life may accelerate coronary disease processes in women, whereas relative protection may be obtained from a satisfactory job and a happy marriage.

Selected publications

Gerritsen L, Kalpouzos G, Westman E, Simmons A, Wahlund L-O, Bäckman L, Fratiglioni L, Wang H-X. The influence of negative life events on hippocampal and amygdala volumes in old age: A life-course perspective. Psychol Med. 2015 Apr;45(6):1219-28.

Hahn EA, Wang H-X, Andel R, Fratiglioni L. A Change in Sleep Pattern May Predict Alzheimer’s disease. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2014 Nov;22(11):1262-71.

Wang H-X, Jin Y, Hendrie HC, Liang C, Yang L, Cheng Y, Unverzagt FW, Ma F, Hall HS, Murrell JR, Li P, Bian J, Pei J-J, Gao S. Late life leisure activities and risk of cognitive decline. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013;68(2):205-13

Wang H-X, Gustafson D, Kivipelto M, Pedersen N.L., Skoog I, Windblad B, Fratiglioni L. Education halves the risk of dementia due to apolipoprotein ε4 allele. Neurol Aging 2012;33(5):1007.e1-7.

Wang H-X, Wahlberg M, Karp A, Winblad B, Fratiglioni L. Psychosocial stress at work is associated with increased dementia risk in late life. Alzheimer’s & Dementia 2012;8:114-120.

Rydwik E, Welmer A-K, Angleman S, Fratiglioni L, Wang H-X. Is midlife occupational physical activity related to disability in old age? The SNAC-Kungsholmen study. PLoS ONE 2013;8(7):e70471. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070471

Paillard-Borg S, Fratiglioni L, Xu W, Winblad B, Wang H-X. An active lifestyle postpones dementia onset by more than one year in very old adutls. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;31(4):835-42.

Wang H-X, Karp A, Herlitz A, Crowe M, Kåreholt I, Winblad B, Fratiglioni L. Personality and lifestyle in relation to dementia incidence. Neurology 2009;72:253-259.

Wang H-X, Mittleman MA, Leineweber C, Orth-Gomer K. Depressive symptoms in combination with social isolation hastens progression of coronary artery atherosclerosis in middle-aged women.Psychother Psychosom 2006:75;96-102.

Wang H-X, Mittleman MA, Orth-Gomer K. Influence of social support on progression of coronary artery disease in women. Soc Sci Med 2005;60:599-607.

Wang H-X, Karp A, Winblad B, Fratiglioni L. Late-life engagement in social and leisure activities is associated with a decreased risk of dementia: A longitudinal study from the Kungsholmen Project. Am J Epidemiol 2002;155:1081-7.

Wang H-X, Wahlin Å, Basun H, Fastbom J, Winblad B, Fratiglioni L. Low levels of vitamin B12 and folate and Alzheimer’s disease incidence. Neurology 2001;56:1188-94.

Fratiglioni L, Wang H-X, Maytan M, Ericsson K, Winblad B. The Influence of Social Network on the Occurrence of Dementia: A Community-based Longitudinal Study. Lancet 2000;355:1315-9.

Wang H-X, Fratiglioni L, Frisoni GB, Viitanen M, Winblad B. Smoking and the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease: cross-sectional and longitudinal data in a population-based study. Am J Epidemiol1999;149:640-4.

 

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Angleman, Sara
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