Principal Investigator: Dr Jessica Tyrrell
Department: Medical School
Institution: University of Exeter
The Knowledge Spa,
Research at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH) focuses on the complex interconnectedness between human health and the environment. The World Health Organisation estimates that 24% of the global burden of disease and 23% of all deaths are attributable to environmental factors. The epidemiology team within ECEHH investigates both the positive and negative impact of the environment on human health. The researchers associated with this proposal are specifically interested in the role of the environment in non-cancer illnesses, especially asthma, atopic diseases, cardiovascular disease and Meniere’s disease. The UK Biobank provides a unique opportunity for us to investigate the role of broad range of environmental factors in the aetiology of these diseases, in the largest UK based population study, with large numbers of cases and controls. A greater understanding of these diseases is important for improving treatment regimens and public health interventions. Whilst a broad range of factors will be investigated, we have a number of discrete research questions:
1. Does eczema in childhood increases an individual’s likelihood of developing asthma in later life.
2. Does sun exposure influence the incidence of atopic diseases?
3. What factor(s) predispose an individual to Meniere’s disease and how does this disease impact on quality of life?
We will utilise a range of statistical techniques to investigate these questions using the baseline data from all participants in the UK Biobank. The initial analysis of the baseline data will allow a better understanding of the data, hypothesis generation for future research and an improved understanding of factors that influence these diseases.