Prof Karen Sliwa-Hahnle - Faculty of Health Sciences (Faculty of Health Sciences)

Fully accredited supervisor - Can supervise as principal supervisor


I am a Professor of Cardiovascular Research at the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa (HICRA) and Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) at the University of Cape Town, and the Director of HICRA where I lead several research groups.
Born in Germany, I am a clinician-scientist, having trained in Germany, Scotland and Israel. In 1992 I immigrated to South Africa where I completed my clinical training as a specialist physician, cardiologist and obtained a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In 2002 I was awarded my PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand. I received Fellowships from the American College of Cardiology, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and hold honorary research appointments at the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI), Hamilton, Canada and the Baker Institute, Melbourne, Australia. I am leading a large international registry funded by the ESC and am an editorial consultant/board member of a number of prestigious journals including a??The Lancet (IF 39) and European Heart Journal (IF 15.7).
My work has culminated in my receiving several prestigious international awards including the African Most Influential Women in Business and Government- Continental Lifetime Achiever Award (2015/2016); German Cardiac Society Paul Morawitz Award for Exceptional Cardiovascular Research (2013); South Africa /Germany Year of Science NRF Celebrations Award (2012); Department of Science and Technology Distinguished Women in Science Award (2010); Population Health Research Institute International Scholar, McMaster University, Canada (2010) and the International Society of Hypertension Developing World Award (2010).
In 2014 a full profile report was published about me in The Lancet. In 2015 a 2 page report portraying me as a global leader in cardiovascular medicine was published in the European Heart Journal (IF 15.7).


Phone : (Overseas)
URIs : Personal Website

Research Interests

heart failure ; Heart Disease in women ; Cardiomyopathy ; Heart Disease in Africa ;

Methods Expertise

Prospective cohort studies ; Basic science studies ; Clinical trials ;

Research Projects

No research project is currently recorded.

Selected Publications


Clinical characteristics of patients from the worldwide registry on peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM): EURObservational Research Programme in conjunction with the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology Study Group on PPCM, in European Journal of Heart Failure


Cardiology-cardiothoracic subspeciality training in South Africa: a position paper of the South Africa Heart Association, in Cardiovascular Journal of Africa

Impact of Socioeconomic Status, Ethnicity, and Urbanization on Risk Factor Profiles of Cardiovascular Disease in Africa. Circulation, in Circulation

Blood-Pressure and Cholesterol Lowering in Persons without Cardiovascular Disease, in New England Journal of Medicine

Cholesterol Lowering in Intermediate-Risk Persons without Cardiovascular Disease, in New England Journal of Medicine

The heart of Africa: succeeding against the odds, in The Lancet

Late maternal deaths: a neglected responsibility, in The Lancet


The causes, treatment, and outcome of acute heart failure in 1006 Africans from 9 countries. THESUS Study, in Archives of Internal Medicine


Evaluation of bromocriptine in the treatment of acute severe peripartum cardiomyopathy: a proof-of-concept pilot study, in Circulation

Current state of knowledge on aetiology, diagnosis, management, and therapy of peripartum cardiomyopathy: a position statement from the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology Working Group on peripartum cardiomyopathy, in Eur J Heart Fail


Spectrum of heart disease and risk factors in a black urban population in South Africa (the Heart of Soweto Study): a cohort study, in The Lancet