Noluthando Ntlapo is a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam. Prior to starting her PhD, she completed a master degree in demography and population studies at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. Her research interests focus on the investigation of bidirectional effects of psychosocial factors and cardiometabolic health. Her current research project is on the association of depression and anxiety in new-onset atrial fibrillation.

Research question

“Is there a bidirectional relationship between depression, anxiety with Atrial Fibrillation?”


My study investigates a bidirectional association between depression and anxiety with new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF). Firstly, I analyse the associations of depression symptoms and anxiety with AF using a cox regression model, with depression symptoms and anxiety taken as the independent variables. Then, I analyse AF with depression and anxiety, with AF as the independent variables. Finally, drawing from this, I evaluate causal relationships using a two-sample Mendelian Randomisation (MR) method. This will provide a comprehensive understanding of these relationships which currently remains unclear.

Noluthando Ntlapo

PhD student,
Erasmus MC

Portrait photo of Noluthando Ntlapo