PhD defense, Christoffer Polcwiartek

The Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University and Aalborg University Hospital are pleased to invite to PhD defense by Christoffer Polcwiartek, MD, who will defend the thesis entitled: Clinical Implications of ECG Abnormalities among Patients with Severe Mental Illness


23.04.2021 kl. 15.00 - 18.00


The PhD defense will take place

Friday April 23, 2021 at 3 PM

Due to Covid-19 the defense will be held via Zoom.

Registration via email to



Svend Eggert Jensen, MD, PhD

Christian Torp-Pedersen, MD, DMSc

Claus Graff, MSc, PhD

Kristian Kragholm, MD, PhD


Assessment committee

Torben Bjerregaard Larsen, MD, PhD

Christian Gerdes, MD, PhD

Joseph Alpert, MD


About the PhD thesis

Patients with severe mental illness (SMI) including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression have increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, contributing to a reduced life expectancy of approximately 20 years compared with the general population. Reasons for the excess cardiovascular risk are multifactorial, and patients with SMI have often unrecognized and undertreated cardiovascular disease. Therefore, early cardiovascular risk assessment is important in this vulnerable population.

By using the electrocardiogram (ECG), a simple and inexpensive cardiac examination, the overall aim of this PhD thesis was to provide epidemiological insights into the prevalence, prognostic value, and clinical implications of ECG abnormalities among patients with SMI compared with controls without any mental illness.

Based on 3 large-scale epidemiological studies, the clinical utility of ECG abnormalities in the SMI population has been explored. First, the prevalence of ECG abnormalities was analyzed among patients with SMI compared with general population controls. Second, the association between ECG abnormalities and mortality risk was explored among patients with SMI and compared with general population controls. Third, heart failure patients with and without SMI, who were assessed with an ECG and echocardiogram, were studied in terms of mortality risk and prognosis following device implantation and procedures for heart failure.

Overall, findings of this PhD thesis pointed toward a potential role of the ECG to identify patients with SMI at greater cardiovascular risk.



Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University


Online via Zoom

Registration Deadline

22.03.2021 kl. 13.00

Register at


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