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Approved Research

Integrative analysis of risk factors with multiple health conditions associated with ageing

Principal Investigator: Miss Xinzhu Yu
Approved Research ID: 94719
Approval date: February 16th 2023

Lay summary

Ageing is an important contributor to many diseases such as dementia, cardiovascular events and cancer. As people age, they are more likely to experience several conditions at the same time. Common conditions in older age include hearing loss, cataracts and refractive errors, back and neck pain and osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, depression and dementia. Nevertheless, the health conditions in the ageing old group vary from person to person. The variations in older people's health can partly be explained by genes. Other than that, the physical and social environments such as physical activities and living environments also affect an individual's health and how they age. Although many risk and protective factors have been identified for unhealthy ageing. The true causal relationships behind unhealthy ageing are believed to be convoluted. Complicated causal models considering the hierarchy or interactions between multiple factors and ageing-related health conditions were needed to draw a more accurate causal inference out of ageing. This will not only help better understand ageing-related diseases but also contribute to the prevention of unhealthy ageing. Prediction models integrating all risk factors are expected to have more accurate performances.

This study aims to investigate the causal network behind ageing-related health conditions such as cognitive decline, dementia, multi-morbidity and frailty. Using network analysis approaches, the study aims to draw the causal network relationships between genes, environmental factors and ageing-related health outcomes. We also aim to build prediction models of ageing-related health conditions using different state-of-art approaches and compare their performances accordingly.

The estimated project duration is 3 years.