Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved research

Causes and consequences of digestive diseases: a prospective cohort study and a phenome-wide mendelian randomization analysis

Principal Investigator: Professor Ben Zhang
Approved Research ID: 47515
Approval date: February 14th 2019

Lay summary

Digestive diseases (ICD-10, codes K00-K93) are a leading cause of morbidity, hospital admission and economic burden worldwide. The pathogenesis of these diseases is understudied. Epidemiological studies have linked a number of environmental exposures with risk of different digestive diseases. Meanwhile, studies have also found that certain digestive diseases may be risk factors for other complex diseases. In addition, digestive diseases may share risk factors with other complex diseases. However, most of the published studies focused on identifying risk exposures for one disease or several diseases and virtually no studies have been conducted to systematically evaluate risk exposures for all common digestive diseases and examine whether these exposures are causally associated with digestive diseases, whether digestive diseases will result in other complex diseases, and whether the relationships between risk exposures and other complex diseases are mediated through digestive diseases. In this project, we aim to comprehensively investigate the causes and consequences of common digestive diseases. To address these issues, we will perform a prospective observational study, a phenome-wide association study, and a mendelian randomization analysis using data from the UK Biobank. We will also develop risk prediction models for digestive diseases and evaluate the potential interactions between environmental and genetic factors on the risk of digestive diseases. We will start analyses as soon as data are available and plan to finish this project and send manuscripts to authors for review within 36 months after we receive the data. We hope that our study will provide a profile of the causes and consequences of digestive diseases and may help identify novel biological pathways and therapeutic targets for improving prevention and treatment of digestive diseases and other complex diseases.