Ilonca Vaartjes

Dr. Vaartjes is always searching for the potential of real world data for cardiovascular disease (CVD) research and she addressed many research questions using linkage of data from health insurance companies, GP registries, disease registers, cause of death registries, hospital discharge registries, electronic health records and cohorts in various countries.

In the last years she became involved in exposome research and as such she enriched cardiovascular data with environmental data aiming to further understand the role of environment in the development of CVD, in particular in migrants and SES groups.  

She is project leader of the Global Geo Health Data Center and WP leader in the EU ITN project SURREAL (systems approach of urban environments and health). She is member of the air pollution expert group of the World Heart Federation, PI of U-health prediction and involved in the coordination of Survey of Risk Factors, a global audit on secondary prevention in CHD patients.


Neighbourhood walkability in relation to cognitive functioning in patients with disorders along the heart-brain axis

Erik J Timmermans, Anna E Leeuwis, Michiel L Bots, Juliette L van Alphen, Geert Jan Biessels, Hans-Peter Brunner-La Rocca, L Jaap Kappelle, Albert C van Rossum, Matthias J P van Osch, Ilonca Vaartjes; Heart-Brain Connection Consortium
Health & Place, volume 79

Development of a neighborhood obesogenic built environment characteristics index for the Netherlands

Thao Minh Lam, Alfred J. Wagtendonk, Nicolette R. den Braver, Derek Karssenberg, Ilonca Vaartjes, Erik J. Timmermans, Joline W. J. Beulens, Jeroen Lakerveld
Obesity, volume 31, issue 1

Associations between the built environment and obesity: an umbrella review

T.M. Lam, I. Vaartjes, D.E. Grobbee, D. Karssenberg, J. Lakerveld
Int J Health Geogr . 2021 Feb 1;20(1):7.

Development of an objectively measured walkability index for the Netherlands

Thao Minh Lam, Zhiyong Wang, Ilonca Vaartjes, Derek Karssenberg, Dick Ettema, Marco Helbich, Erik J. Timmermans, Lawrence D. Frank, Nicolette R. den Braver, Alfred J. Wagtendonk, Joline W. J. Beulens & Jeroen Lakerveld
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity volume 19, Article number: 50 (2022)

Ilonca Vaartjes

Contact information

UMC Utrecht
Department of Epidemiology
Julius Center Research Program Cardiovascular Epidemiology


Areas of Expertise

Cardiovascular Health

Decoding the exposome

Decoding the exposome

The environment we live in has a dominant impact on our health. It explains an estimated seventy percent of the chronic disease burden. Where we live, what we eat, how much we exercise, the air we breathe and whom we associate with; all of these environmental factors play a role. The combination of these factors over the life course is called the exposome. There is general (scientific) consensus that understanding more about the exposome will help explain the current burden of disease and that it provides entry points for prevention and ...

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