UK Biobank: Opportunities for cardiovascular research

Thomas J. Littlejohns, Catherine Sudlow, Naomi E Allen, Rory Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Cardiovascular disease and its associated risk factors, such as hypertension and high cholesterol, are major contributors towards global morbidity and mortality. Epidemiological studies provide the scientific evidence base to develop effective preventive strategies and treatments for cardiovascular disease. However, previous cohorts have been restricted by small sample sizes and/or a lack of diverse outcomes, thereby limiting the identification of small, but clinically relevant, associations as well as the opportunity to explore complex interactions between risk factors. To address this, UK Biobank was established as a population-based prospective study with data and samples of unparalleled breadth and depth from 500,000 UK adults, recruited between 2006 and 2010. Incident health outcomes are captured through linkage to electronic medical records over the long term. The biological samples collected have enabled biochemical measurements and genome-wide genotyping to be performed for the full cohort. Enhanced measures are being performed on large subsets, including the largest multimodal imaging study (100,000 participants), physical activity monitoring (100,000 participants) and a series of web-based questionnaires (over 100,000 participants). As a result, UK Biobank offers an invaluable opportunity to conduct novel epidemiological research focused on cardiovascular disease and its associated environmental and genetic risk factors as well as how these factors interact with non-cardiovascular outcomes. As an open-access resource, UK Biobank provides researchers from around the world with an opportunity to generate findings that will positively impact the prevention, treatment and diagnosis of cardiovascular disease in the foreseeable future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Early online date20 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2017

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