Photo of Kristofer Hedman

Kristofer Hedman

Senior Associate Professor

I strive for better understanding of how heart, blood vessels and lungs adapt to physical activity, both in short terms (such as during an exercise test) and in long term (such as after a period of physical training).


Improved Assessment Before Major Surgery

I lead projects aimed at refining the assessment of physical functional capacity before major surgical procedures. This can, in turn, provide a more accurate evaluation of which individuals are at increased risk of experiencing severe complications during or shortly after surgery. This allows for preventive measures to be taken to reduce this risk, as well as to minimize suffering and prolonged hospital stay. The research projects includes advanced exercise physiology methods with analysis of respiratory gases and ventilation (cardiopulmonary exercise testing), as well as attempts to identify individuals where simpler, low-technology methods can be used, which can both speed up the process leading to surgery and be a wise clinical choice that helps prioritize healthcare resources.


Blood Pressure Response During Exercise

In this project, I study what constitutes a normal versus an abnormal blood pressure response during an exercise test, to compare blood pressure values and blood pressure progression measured during clinical exercise tests against a standard value. The project also investigates whether an abnormal blood pressure response during exercise can be used to predict which individuals are at increased risk of later developing high blood pressure (hypertension), cardiovascular disease, or experiencing premature death. The project is a collaboration with researchers within the South Eastern Healthcare Region and with international partners at KU Leuven in Belgium.


Physiological Findings in Individuals with Prolonged Symptoms After COVID-19 Infection

Some individuals suffer from very long-lasting symptoms after recovering from COVID-19, known as post-COVID. My research focuses on better understanding the physiological factors behind reduced fitness or increased breathlessness in a large portion of these individuals. The project involves collaboration with Professor Maria Lerm at Linköping University, where we link the patient's symptoms, physiological abnormalities, and changes in DNA (so-called epigenetic changes).










About me

Research path

  • Associate professor (Docent) 2020.
  • Post-doc at Stanford University, California 2018-2019.
  • Medical doctor/physician 2016.
  • PhD 2016
  • MSc in Medicine 2012, Linköpings University
  • BSc Physiotherapy 2009, Linköping University



MD, Clinical Fellow. Dept of Clinical Physiology, Linköping University Hospital



Karolina Kristenson, Johan Hylander, Miklos Boros, Kristofer Hedman (2024) VE/VCO2 slope threshold optimization for preoperative evaluation in lung cancer surgery: identifying true high- and low-risk groups Journal of Thoracic Disease, Vol. 16, p. 123-132 Continue to DOI
Magnus Ekstrom, Josefin Sundh, Anders Andersson, Oskar Angeras, Anders Blomberg, Mats Borjesson, Kenneth Caidahl, Ossur Ingi Emilsson, Jan Engvall, Erik Frykholm, Ludger Grote, Kristofer Hedman, Tomas Jernberg, Eva Lindberg, Andrei Malinovschi, Andre Nyberg, Eric Rullman, Jacob Sandberg, Magnus Skold, Nikolai Stenfors, Johan Sundstrom, Hanan Tanash, Suneela Zaigham, Carljohan Carlhäll (2024) Exertional breathlessness related to medical conditions in middle-aged people: the population-based SCAPIS study of more than 25,000 men and women Respiratory Research, Vol. 25, Article 127 Continue to DOI
Ángel Herraiz-Adillo, Viktor H. Ahlqvist, Sara Higueras-Fresnillo, Kristofer Hedman, Emil Hagstrom, Melony Fortuin- de Smidt, Bledar Daka, Cecilia Lenander, Daniel Berglind, Carl Johan Östgren, Karin Rådholm, Francisco B. Ortega, Pontus Henriksson (2024) Physical fitness in male adolescents and atherosclerosis in middle age: a population-based cohort study British Journal of Sports Medicine Continue to DOI
Anna Carlén, Thomas Lindow, Nicholas Cauwenberghs, Viktor Elmberg, Lars Brudin, Magnus Ekstrom, Kristofer Hedman (2024) Exercise systolic blood pressure response during cycle ergometry is associated with future hypertension in normotensive individuals European Journal of Preventive Cardiology Continue to DOI
Karolina Kristenson, Edvard Gerring, Bergthor Björnsson, Per Sandström, Kristofer Hedman (2024) Peak oxygen uptake in combination with ventilatory efficiency improve risk stratification in major abdominal surgery Physiological Reports, Vol. 12, Article e15904 Continue to DOI