Principal Investigator for COSI in Croatia: doc.dr.sc. Sanja Musić Milanović
Host institution: Croatian Institute of Public Health with the support of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science and Education
Funded by: European Office of the World Health Organization and the Croatian Institute of Public Health
Saša Missoni, PhD, Ass. Prof.
Jelena Šarac, PhD
Project “Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (CroCOSI)” of the European Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) was first implemented in 2005/2006 in 13 countries of the European Region of WHO. Croatia was, together with more than 35 other European countries, included in the fourth project phase in the school year 2015/2016 and the next phase of research is to be conducted in 2019 on a national level. The project involves gathering data on nutritional status, physical activity and dietary habits of school children, which is not part of routine health care in Croatia. Project aims to raise awareness of the growing problem of obesity in Croatia, focus on intervention and the development of efficient obesity prevention programs, and contribute to the continuous monitoring of the nutritional status of children in order to create a methodologically homogeneous basis for comparison with other European countries.
(2019., Croatian Institute of Public Health with the support of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science and Education, Principal Investigator for COSI in Croatia: doc. dr. sc. Sanja Musić Milanović)
Reconstructing prehistoric (Neolithic to Bronze Age) lifestyles on the territory of Croatia – a multidisciplinary approach (PASTLIVES)
Principal Investigator: Dr. Mario Novak, research associate
Host institution: Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb
Duration: 2017 – 2020
Funded by: Croatian Science Foundation
Jacqueline Balen, Archaeological Museum in Zagreb
Mislav Čavka, Dubrava University Hospital, Zagreb
Ron Pinhasi, University College Dublin, Ireland
Sarah McClure, Pennsylvania State University, USA
Claudio Tuniz, the ‘Abdus Salam’ International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy
Stefano Benazzi, University of Bologna, Italy
Tamás Hajdu, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
Ivor Janković, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb
Dragana Rajković, Museum of Slavonia, Osijek
Darko Komšo, Archaeological Museum of Istria, Pula
Hrvoje Potrebica, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb
Hrvoje Kalafatić, Institute of Archaeology, Zagreb
This project will investigate a complex set of biological, social and cultural changes and processes that took place on the territory of the present-day Croatia between the early Neolithic and the late Bronze Age (ca 6000 BCE and 1000 BCE) through a comprehensive multi- and interdisciplinary study of human biological remains using a combination of conventional archaeological and bioarchaeological methods, stable isotopes, radiological and aDNA analyses, radiocarbon dating, microCT scanning, and geometric morphometric analyses. The project will involve 20 Croatian prehistoric sites with over 400 individuals (300 inhumation and 100 cremation burials). PASTLIVES project will address the following research questions: a) population movements, demography and social organization; b) population genetics; c) subsistence and overall health; and d) violence and conflict. These objectives and research questions will be explored by using two main approaches: regional (cross-sectional) and temporal (longitudinal), i.e. the project will establish possible regional and temporal differences between the prehistoric populations in terms of studied parameters such as average age at death, life expectancy, diet, and general health. All observed data will be compared in terms of sex, age and social groups in order to test whether any of these features played a significant role in the quality of life of the analyzed individuals. In order to get a better perspective the data obtained by this study will be compared with contemporaneous bioarchaeological, isotopic and genetic data from Hungary. This approach will enable a better understanding of various aspects of prehistoric life (and death) such as population structure, mortuary practices, violence, diet and mobility on the territory of the present-day Croatia but also in a broader European context.
(2017. – 2020., Croatian Science Foundation, Principal Investigator Dr. Mario Novak)
Noncommunicable diseases, their risk factors and quality of life of adolescents in Vukovar and Vukovarsko-srijemska county
Project leader: Saša Missoni, PhD/ Miran Čoklo, PhD, MD, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb
Participating institutions: College of Applied Sciences „Lavoslav Ružička“ in Vukovar and the Institute for Anthropological Research in Zagreb
Duration of the project: 2017 – 2019
The main objective of the proposed research is to determine the prevalence of MetS and related non-communicable diseases, together with selected environmental risk factors in the area of Vukovar and Vukovarsko-srijemska County. It also aims at identifying the association between various risk factors for MetS: anthropometric data (together with indicators of body composition), sociodemographic data, data on socioeconomic status, lifestyle, dietary habits, indicators of quality of life and to determine differences in certain MetS symptoms in relation to variables such as gender, age, place of residence (urban versus rural), and level of stress.
Noel Cameron, Loughborough University, School of Sport, Leicestershire, UK
Ellen Demerath, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Minneapolis, USA
Lawrence Schell, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, USA
Sanja Musić Milanović, Croatian Institute of Public Health, Zagreb, Croatia
Ljiljana Muslić, Croatian Institute of Public Health, Zagreb, Croatia
Tamara Poljičanin, Croatian Institute of Public Health, Zagreb, Croatia
Alen Šelović, General Hospital Bjelovar, Bjelovar, Croatia
Veselin Škrabić, University Hospital Center Split, Split, Croatia
Deni Karelović, University Hospital Center Split, Split, Croatia
Martina Šunj, University Hospital Center Split, Split, Croatia
Vesna Pavlov, University Hospital Center Split, Split, Croatia
Ivana Unić Šabašov, University Hospital Center Split, Split, Croatia
Olgica Martinis, Education and Teacher Training Agency, Zagreb, Croatia
Mirjana Turkalj, Children’s hospital Srebrnjak, Zagreb, Croatia
Denis Polančec, Children’s hospital Srebrnjak, Zagreb, Croatia
Lucija Zenić, Children’s hospital Srebrnjak, Zagreb, Croatia
Marcel Lipej, Children’s hospital Srebrnjak, Zagreb, Croatia
Ivana Banić, Children’s hospital Srebrnjak, Zagreb, Croatia
Jelena Živković, Children’s hospital Srebrnjak, Zagreb, Croatia
Sandra Bulat Lokas, Children’s hospital Srebrnjak, Zagreb, Croatia
Adrijana Miletić Gospić, Children’s hospital Srebrnjak, Zagreb, Croatia
Stipan Janković, University of Split, University Department of Health Studies, Split, Croatia
Deana Švaljug, University of Split, University Department of Health Studies, Split, Croatia
Ana Žižić, University of Split, University Department of Health Studies, Split, Croatia
Joško Sindik, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia
Ana Perinić Lewis, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia
Dubravka Havaš Auguštin, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia
Natalija Novokmet, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia
Miran Čoklo, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia
Jelena Šarac, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia
Morana Jarec, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia
Matea Zajc Petranović, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is the leading cause of high morbidity and mortality, with enormous impact on population health and medical costs. Its prevalence is more than 30% in the general Croatian population and has especially high rate on Croatian islands, up to 58%. Specific features of the Eastern Adriatic Islands (EAI) (genetic isolates with high level of inbreeding, mixing traditional and transitional lifestyle and continuous depopulation processes) represent a basis for development of specific MetS risk factor patterns. This project is a pilot study with the aims to: assess the prevalence of known risk factors (biological, environmental and behavioral) for the MetS in EAI and nearby mainland area of the targeted Croatian populations and to use this information as a base to develop an intervention strategy. Population-based pregnancy and birth cohort studies are particularly salient for studying early origins of health and disease that begin in fetal life and infancy. A longitudinal approach will be used on a representative sample of 713 participants in each group: pregnant women and children in the targeted populations of island populations (Hvar, Brač and Vis) and nearby mainland area of of the Split-Dalmatia County. The outcome of the project is revealing the sets of relevant risk factors for the development of MetS in the studied Croatian populations. The long-term outcome is progressive development of a base for an effective intervention strategy, directed at relevant risk factors for MetS. The importance of the outcomes of this pilot study is developing foundations for a better focused population adjusted model of early intervention in the future. It will include a large number of relevant risk factors for MetS, which will contribute to beneficial public health outcomes. Knowledge and experiences, acquired in this research will contribute to the creation of programs for health promotion, based on the assumptions of the theory of planned behavior, taking into account local socio-cultural and environmental characteristics.
(2015. – 2018., Croatian Science Foundation, Principal Investigator Dr. Saša Missoni)
Impact of ancestry and isolation on ADME genes – the Roma example
Principal Investigator: prof. Marijana Peričić Salihović
Host institution: Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb
Funded by: Croatian Science Foundation
Nina Smolej Narančić
Matea Zajc Petranović
Contemporary populations’ genomic diversity reflects past demographic and evolutionary events. Genetic distinctiveness is especially pronounced in isolated populations where the exchange of genes with other populations is minimal (e.g. Jewish populations, Saami, Roma, Basque, Croatian island populations) and where the increased frequency of otherwise rare, or private alleles, emerges. The Roma, transnational minority population of Indian origin is an example of a founder population with centuries long sociocultural isolation which left traces in their gene pool showing considerable differences compared with other populations.
The genes that significantly differentiate among populations are those responsible for absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs (ADME genes). The knowledge on their distribution in isolated populations is limited. Therefore, in this application we propose to study ADME genes’ polymorphisms through the analysis of ADME core markers and CYP2D6 and CYP1A2 genes in 300 DNA samples obtained from three Roma groups in Croatia.
The general objective of the project is to determine the variations of ADME genes in the Roma minority population of Croatia, in order to assess the extent to which the population history, which includes multiple bottleneck/founder events, isolation and endogamy, could have impacted this functionally extremely important gene family. Available data on the Roma populations, combined with our previous extensive research of the Croatian Roma, point to the specific demographic history and high degree of isolation between different groups, as well as to the practice of endogamy, making them a suitable model for this type of research.
In order to acomplish these aims we will genotype genetic markers – SNP or small InDel loci from 33 genes, members of the core marker list selected as the most important ADME markers (www.pharmaadme.org) and resequence CYP1A2 and CYP2D6 genes. We will use this data to define intra- and interpopulation structure and determine age of these new mutations in order to gain insight into their temporal and spatial characteristics. We will also conduct in silico functional analysis for new haplotypes and private variants.
We expect to find specific allele distributions of the investigatedloci within the ADME genes, landmarks that reflect the Indian origin of the Roma and the signals of admixture with the populations they came in close contact with during their migration from India to Europe. Our assessment of Roma’ unique genetic profile will contribute to the medical practice through the modulation of pharmacotherapy in Roma population. It will also significantly contribute to the field of pharmacogenetics in terms of information on the genetic variation in Roma, essential for the development of pharmacogenetic tests specific for this minority population estimated to around 15 million people. The results promise to highlight the population uniqueness in ADME genes and encourage similar research in other world’s isolates.