Welcome to the 2017 UK Biobank Newsletter. You have received this Newsletter because you are a participant in UK Biobank. Thank you for contributing to this exciting and pioneering study, we are very grateful for your continued support.
Welcome to the 2017
UK Biobank Newsletter
We were delighted to welcome Channel 4 News anchorman, Jon Snow, to our 2017 Annual Meeting in Manchester. Jon is a UK Biobank participant and very kindly agreed to chair the Participants' Panel at this year's event. He questioned six participants about their involvement in the study and then put some of their questions to senior staff. It was a great start to the event, and we are grateful to the participants who took part and were happy to share their views.

See how we got on →
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Planning for
the future
UK Biobank is making plans for the next five years and longer. Watch a review of the achievements, challenges of the past year and ideas for the future, presented by Rory Collins, UK Biobank's Principal Investigator, and Baroness Hayman, chair of the independent UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council.
Read More →
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How the resource is
being used
The 5,000th health researcher registered with UK Biobank this year. Scientists from all over the world are using UK Biobank to advance their understanding, and we expect many more to join over the coming year. You can find out more about who is using the resource and what they are doing here.
Read More →
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Two major announcements
 about genetics research
The samples of blood provided by participants provide lots of information about health and well-being. They also allow scientists to study the genetics of disease. We announced two major developments in genetic research this year. One important announcement was that a vast trove of genetic information that covers all 500,000 participants is now available to health researchers. In a second development, British-based pharmaceutical company, GSK, and the American company, Regeneron, announced a programme to analyse genetic data, which will be particularly useful for developing new drugs. These new genetic data will be returned to UK Biobank and made available to all approved researchers anywhere in the world. Find out more here:
UK Biobank makes available vast trove of genetics information →
GSK/Regeneron initiative to develop better treatments, more quickly →
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Following health through medical records
Participants often ask how UK Biobank is able to follow their health. This is done by using existing medical records, such as those about discharges from hospital and information kept by GP practices. UK Biobank Chief Scientist Professor Cathie Sudlow and Professor Liam Smeeth from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, discussed the reasons why these data are so important for research at the UK Biobank Annual Meeting.
Hear what they had to say →
Healthier & leaner – but still a vital research resource
A recent study has highlighted that UK Biobank participants are more likely to be female, older, and to live in less socioeconomically deprived areas than non-participants. Compared with the general population, participants were less likely to be obese, smoke, drink alcohol on a daily basis and had reported fewer illnesses. Death rates were 46% lower in men and 55% lower in women. Men and women were also less likely to be diagnosed with cancer. Results confirm that the resource provides generalisable information for different populations on the relevance of different risk factors for disease. It also demonstrates the value of such a large and diverse data resource to the research community to undertake studies into health.
Read more →
Take part in our pioneering imaging study
Taking pictures of the organs inside the body could truly transform health research. Combining these powerful images with genetics and lifestyle information, especially in very large numbers, will make UK Biobank useful for a wide range of studies. For example, it will provide more direct measures of fat distribution within the body compared to weight or BMI measurement and more detailed images of the structure and pathways within the brain. When combined with data on your health over many years it will allow researchers to better understand the interaction between lifestyle and genes in brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. For these reasons, UK Biobank is undertaking an imaging study, to scan 100,000 participants with centres in Manchester and Newcastle and a third centre in Reading to open soon.
Learn more about this amazing study →
Question Time!
The more we know about your health and lifestyle, the more useful UK Biobank becomes for research. So, thank you to the thousands of you who have completed our online questionnaires. We’re delighted with the response so far. Until now the questionnaires have focussed on diet, mental and digestive health and work history. Many more are planned for the next few years, including one on pain. These questionnaires are developed with advice from experts who tell us the most important topics to focus on and the most useful questions to ask. Some of our questionnaires are still available for you to complete so if you missed one because you’ve only just given us your email address, or you never got round to responding when you received an email invite, you can still go to our website and complete it. You can answer these questionnaires in your own time, and we’ll let you know by email when others become available.

Being able to ask lots more important questions about your lives is one of the reasons why we like to stay in touch with you (so if your details change, please go to our website and let us know!)
Complete a questionnaire | Update my contact details→
Stay connected
We’re keen to stay in touch, not only so that we can ask you lots more important questions about your health and lifestyle, but also so that we can tell you how UK Biobank is contributing to important medical research. We do this through our annual newsletter and updates on our website, but we are always looking for ways in which we can keep you better informed. If you have two minutes, please complete this survey on ways in which we can stay in touch. Thank you.
Take the survey →
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Incorporated in England and Wales, registered number 4978912, and registered as a charity in England and Wales, number 1101332. Charity registered in Scotland, number SC039230. © UK Biobank 2017

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