Health information opens up new research opportunities
A key feature of UK Biobank is to follow your health over many years to find out what happens to you. This allows scientists to compare lives to find out why some people get certain illnesses and others do not.
UK Biobank does this by linking to existing health records, such as those from general practice (GP), hospitals and those collected centrally (cancer and death statistics for instances). The links are made electronically, so that individual privacy is preserved. Only information that does not identify participants is provided to researchers.
So far, we have linked to the GP records of about 200,000 UK Biobank participants. Links to the rest will be made over the coming year. Illnesses and prescriptions are given precise codes by GPs, and it is this coded data that will form the bulk of the information provided.
UK Biobank senior epidemiologist, Professor Naomi Allen, explained: “Information about what sends us to see the doctor opens up potential for research into conditions that, up until now, have been overlooked.”
There is much more information about how we link to health records, and the information we make available to researchers, on this website. If you have any questions, please do make contact with us via phone, email or post:
Phone: UK Biobank Participant Resource Centre, 0800 0 276 276 8am-7pm Monday-Saturday, free from most phones (or 02920 765597).
Mail: UK Biobank, 1-2 Spectrum Way, Adswood, Stockport, SK3 0SA