The Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) to Reduce Inequality in Heart Disease focuses on improving the heart health and outcomes of groups and communities i.e. Regional Australians, Indigenous Australians and International Health

Professor Karen Sliwa

Professor Karen Sliwa, MD, PhD, FESC, FACC is the Director of the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa (, University of Cape Town and  Director of the Soweto Cardiovascular Research Group (, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. In addition she is a Professorial Fellow at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia and at the Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.


She has been extensively involved in creating worldwide awareness of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (PPCM), one of her main areas of clinical and pathophysiological research. Recent progress in understanding the underlying pathophysiology enabled by novel experimental approaches, together with a unique international effort to join forces between Western and developing countries, has led to great progress in awareness and management of this disease.  In order to coordinate efforts even better, a Study Group, ‘Peripartum Cardiomyopathy’, of the Heart Failure Association of the European Cardiac Society, chaired by Prof. Karen Sliwa and Prof. Johann Bauersachs, was formed in 2009. A Position Statement, highlighting the need for greater awareness worldwide was published in 2010. A large Registry on Peripartum Cardiomyopathy under her leadership was approved by the European Cardiac Society and commenced in 2012 in the ESC countries and affiliated regions. More than 500 patients have been recruited so far.


Professor Sliwa has also designed a number of innovative research programs and leveraged funding for several major research projects, not only in South Africa and the rest of Africa, but also internationally.

Professor Sliwa is a Chief Investigator of the CRE to Reduce Inequality in Heart Disease and will Chair the International Advisory Board to guide its research activities and capacity building efforts to achieve international excellence. She is leading all the African-based research and educational activities in close collaboration with Professor Simon Stewart. They are jointly co-supervising students.

  1. Pretorius S, Stewart S, Carrington MJ, Lamont K, Sliwa K, Crowther NJ. Is There an Association between Sleeping Patterns and Other Environmental Factors with Obesity and Blood Pressure in an Urban African Population? PLoS One. 2015 Oct 8;10(10):e0131081. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131081. eCollection 2015
  2. Ogah OS, Sliwa K, Akinyemi JO, Falase AO, Stewart S.  Hypertensive Heart Failure in Nigerian Africans:  Insights from the Abeokuta Heart Failure Registry.  J Clin Hyperten, 2015 Apr; 17 (4):  263 – 272.
  3. Ogah OS, Stewart S, Onwujekwe OE, Falase AO, Adebayo SO, Olunuga T, Sliwa K. Economic burden of heart failure: investigating outpatient and inpatient costs in Abeokuta, Southwest Nigeria. PLoS One. 2014 Nov 21; 9(11):e113032. doi: 10.1371
  4. Ogah OS, Stewart S, Falase AO, Akinyemi JO, Adegbite GD, Alabi AA, Durodola A, Ajani AA, Sliwa K. Short-term outcomes after hospital discharge in patients admitted with heart failure in Abeokuta, Nigeria: Data from the Abeokuta Heart Failure Registry. Cardiovasc J Afr. 2014 Sep 10; 25:217-223.
  5. Sliwa K, Carrington MJ, Becker A, Thienemann F, Ntsekhe M, Stewart S. Contribution of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome epidemic to de novo presentations of heart disease in the Heart of Soweto Study cohort. Euro Heart J 2012;33(7);866-74.
  6. Sliwa K, Lee GA, Carrington MJ, Obel P, Okreglicki A, Stewart S. Redefining the ECG in urban South Africans: Electrocardiographic findings in heart disease-free Africans. Int J Cardiol. 2012, E-Pub ahead of Print: 22795400.
  7. Sliwa K,. Will a low-cost solar-powered blood pressure device turn the tide of the global cardiovascular disease epidemic? The Lancet 2011;378(9792):647-8.
  8. Stewart S, Carrington MJ, Pretorius S, Methusi P, Sliwa K. Standing at the crossroads between new and historically prevalent heart disease: Effects of migration and socio-economic factors in the Heart of Soweto cohort study. Euro Heart J 2011;32(4):492-9.
  9. Ogah OS, Stewart S, Falasi AO, Akinyemi JO, Adegbite GD, Alabi AS, Ajani AA, Adesina JO, Durodola A, Sliwa K.  Predictors of rehospitalisation in patients admitted with heart failure in Abeokuta, Nigeria:  Data from the Abeokuta Heart Failure Registry.  Journal of Cardiac Failure 2014.   Available on 28 August 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2014.08.012
  10. Ogah OS, Stewart S, Falase AO, Akinyemi JO, Adegbite GD, Alabi AA, Ajani AA, Adesina JO, Durodola A, Sliwa K. Contemporary Profile of Acute Heart Failure in Southern Nigeria: Data From the Abeokuta Heart Failure Clinical Registry. JACC Heart Fail. 2014; Jun;2(3):250-259.
  11. Lyons JG, Sliwa K, Carrington MJ, Raal F, Pretorius S, Thienemann F, Stewart S.  Lower levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in urban Africans presenting with communicable versus non-communicable forms of heart disease: the 'Heart of Soweto' hospital registry study. BMJ Open. 2014; 14; 4:e005069. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005069.
  12. Ojji D, Stewart S, Ajayi S, Manmak M, Sliwa K. A predominance of hypertensive heart failure in the Abuja Heart Study cohort of urban Nigerians:  A prospective clinical registry of 1515 de novo cases. Eur J Heart Fail. 23 Apr, 2013; 15:835-42.
  13. Stewart S, Carrington MJ, Pretorius, S, Ogah OS, Blauwet L, Antras-Ferry J, Sliwa K.  Elevated risk factors but low burden of heart disease in urban African primary care patients: A fundamental role for primary prevention.  Int J Cardiol. 2012;158:205–210.
  14. Stewart S, Mocumbi AO, Carrington MJ, Pretorius S, Burton R, Sliwa K. A not so rare form of heart failure in urban black Africans: Pathways to right heart failure in the Heart of Soweto Study cohort. Eur J Heart Fail 2011;13(10):1070-77.
  15. Sliwa K, Carrington MJ, Mayosi B, Zigriades E, Mvungi R, Stewart S. Incidence and characteristics of newly diagnosed rheumatic heart disease in urban African adults: Insights from the Heart of Soweto Study. Euro Heart J - 2010;31:719-27
  16. Sliwa K, Stewart S, Gersh B. Hypertension – A global perspective. Circulation. 2011; 123(24):2892-6.
  17. Ogah OS, Okpechi I, Chukwuonye II, Akinyemi JO, Onwubere BJ, Falase AO, Stewart S, Sliwa KBlood pressure, prevalence of hypertension and hypertension related complications in Nigerian Africans: A review. World J Cardiol. 2012;4(12):327-40.
  18. Damasceno A, Mayosi BM, Sani M, Ogah OS, Mondo C, Ojji D, Dzudie A, Kouam CK, Suliman A, Schrueder N, Yonga G, Ba SA, Maru F, Alemayehu B, Edwards C, Davison BA, Cotter G, Sliwa KThe causes, treatment, and outcome of acute heart failure in 1006 Africans from 9 countries. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(18):1386-94.