PhD defense by Viggo Holten

The Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University and Aalborg University Hospital are pleased to invite to PhD defence by Viggo Holten Mortensen, who will defend the thesis entitled: Epidemiology of hospital-acquired bacteraemia Studies of incidence, risk factors, and prognosis


03.06.2022 kl. 13.00 - 16.00


The PhD defence will take place

Friday 3rd of June, 2022
Time: 13:00
The auditorium at Sygehus syd, Aalborg Universitetshospital

After the defence there will be held a reception. All are welcome.



Associate Professor Lone Hagens Mygind, MD, PhD, Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark

Prof. Emeritus Henrik Carl Schønheyder, MD, DMSc, Aalborg University Denmark

Associate Professor Mette Søgaard, DVM, PhD, Aalborg University, Denmark

Brian Christensen, MD, PhD, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark


Assessment Committee

Clinical Professor Bodil Steen Rasmussen (chair), Clinical Institute, Aalborg University, Denmark

Professor Marc Bonten, Department Epidemiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands

Associate Professor Gitte Kronborg, Clinical Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


About the PhD thesis

Bacteraemia is considered a severe complication in hospitalised patients.  Bacteraemia contracted during a hospital stay is often coined nosocomial or hospital-acquired and is associated with factors related specifically to hospitalisation, high mortality, and an economic burden. Mortality and excess length of stay following hospital-acquired bacteraemia are often reported in absolute values without comparison to the non-infected patients or include limitations related to time-dependent bias.

The thesis is based on an explorative case-control study of hospital interventions as risk factors comparing patients with hospital-acquired bacteraemia with matched incidence-density sampled controls, and two population-based cohorts studies including the entire North Denmark Region’s adult population with a hospital stay for ≥ 48 hours from 2006 through 2018 exploring mortality, excess length of stay, and readmission rates following hospital-acquired bacteraemia.

The first study revealed central venous catheters and haemodialysis we the most likely intervention-related risk factors. While immunosuppression from medical treatment may play a role as well. The second study highlighted an annual increase in incidence of hospital-acquired bacteraemia, while revealing 4-fold higher mortality in the infected patients. The third study showed following hospital-acquired bacteraemia patients experienced a excess length of stay and higher readmission rates in those that survived the hospitalization.

Risk of infection should be considered in relation to interventions. The consequences of hospital-acquired bacteraemia can be severe and pose an economic burden. This thesis emphasises the need for more research to prevent hospital-acquired bacteraemia and infections in general.



Department of Clinical Medicine


The auditorium, Aalborg University Hospital, South, Hobrovej 18-22