Can we halt atherosclerosis by diet and improve the treatment of coronary heart disease? This is the aim of the NORDHEART study, that not only will examine the dietary effects on coronary arteries, but also on gut microbiota, glucose metabolism and liver fat content.

  • Period: 2024-06-01 – 2028-12-31
  • Budget: 13,000,000 SEK
  • Funder: Formas, Hjärt-Lungfonden, Swedish Research Council,EXODIAB, Åke Wibergs stiftelse
  • Type of funding: Project grant


NORDHEART is an 18-month randomized controlled clinical study involving 150 men and women with cardiovascular disease. Participants are randomly assigned to follow one of two diets: a healthy Nordic diet rich in whole grains (oats and rye), rapeseed oil, fish, lean dairy products, fruits, and vegetables with a reduced proportion of saturated fat, or a control diet consisting of the diet typically recommended in clinics based on the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations. Coronary artery plaque volume is measured using advanced computed tomography. Health effects on risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and inflammation will be investigated. The study aims to investigate whether a healthy Nordic diet can counteract arterial fat deposition, information that could form the basis for new dietary guidelines for individuals with cardiovascular disease.

Recruitment for the NORDHEART study is set to begin in the first half of 2024.

Involved research groups

  • Cardiology - Emil Hagström, Stefan James
  • Radiology - Tomasz Baron, Joel Kullberg, Håkan Ahlström, Per Liss
  • Molecular Epidemiology - Tove Fall

Project leader: Ulf Risérus
Co-investigators: Fredrik Rosqvist, Emil Hagström, Joel Kullberg, Tove Fall