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.


Activity-based Air Pollution Exposure Assessment: Differences Between Homemakers and Cycling Commuters

Lu M, Schmitz O, Vaartjes I, Karssenberg D.
Health Place . 2019 Nov;60:102233. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.102233. Epub 2019 Oct 29.

Relations Between Air Pollution and Vascular Development in 5-year Old Children: A Cross-Sectional Study in the Netherlands

Ntarladima A, Vaartjes I, Grobbee DE, Dijst M, Schmitz O, Uiterwaal C, Dalmeijer G, van der Ent C, Hoek G, Karssenberg D.
Environ Health . 2019 May 16;18(1):50. doi: 10.1186/s12940-019-0487-1.

High Resolution Annual Average Air Pollution Concentration Maps for the Netherlands

Schmitz O, Beelen R, Strak M, Hoek G, Soenario I, Brunekreef B, Vaartjes I, Dijst MJ, Grobbee DE, Karssenberg D.
Sci Data . 2019 Mar 12;6:190035. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2019.35.

Sex Differences in Mortality After Heat Waves: Are Elderly Women at Higher Risk?

van Steen Y, Ntarladima A, Grobbee DE, Karssenberg D, Vaartjes I.
Int Arch Occup Environ Health . 2019 Jan;92(1):37-48. doi: 10.1007/s00420-018-1360-1

Ilonca Vaartjes

Contact information

UMC Utrecht

Areas of Expertise

Cardiovascular Health

Our ultimate goal is that people live healthily for longer

Our ultimate goal is that people live healthily for longer

We know far less about the exposome than we do about the human genome. So far, we only understand about half of the disease burden for which we know the environment plays a role. If we want to prevent people from becoming ill, then we need to understand the other half too. We therefore want to systematically analyse the exposome for the first time. We will start with research into the causes of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The techniques and insights from this research will also be applicable to other chronic conditions.

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