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Approved Research

Exploring and predicting risks and complications of communicable and non-communicable diseases

Principal Investigator: Dr Fiona Bragg
Approved Research ID: 90686
Approval date: September 20th 2022

Lay summary

Non-communicable, chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, vascular diseases, chronic diseases of the kidney and liver, cancers) remain major causes of death and disability globally. Furthermore, despite major advances in the control of infectious diseases, these too persist as significant public health challenges globally, as demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, these diseases do not exist in isolation. Rather, there are important inter-relationships between communicable and non-communicable diseases. While some of these are well-recognised (e.g. higher risks of certain infectious diseases among individuals with diabetes), others are much less well understood, and many of the mechanisms underlying communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases individually, as well as their inter-relationships, are poorly characterised. Moreover, the relevance of related characteristics, including metabolic features such as adiposity, for both communicable and non-communicable diseases are incompletely understood. This project seeks to characterise how factors such as overweight and obesity, and various blood-based markers, relate to the risks of both communicable and non-communicable diseases, as well as how the risks of communicable diseases differ according to whether individuals have or do not have pre-existing non-communicable diseases and mechanisms underlying any identified associations. The insight gained would be expected to enhance our understanding of both how and why risk factors are related to communicable and non-communicable diseases, providing insights to enable improved prediction, prevention and treatment of these diseases.