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Approved research

Investigating lifestyle factors on cancer outcomes

Principal Investigator: Mrs Megan Conroy
Approved Research ID: 41115
Approval date: January 25th 2019

Lay summary

Incidence of cancer is continuing to increase in the UK, with the current estimate of 598 cancer diagnosis per 100,000 people per year. Additionally, over a quarter of deaths in the UK are due to cancer, and 11 of the top 25 causes of years of life lost in England result from a cancer diagnosis, as reported in the Global Burden of Disease study 2013. Smoking, obesity and other lifestyle factors (e.g. diet and physical activity) have been associated with various cancer diagnoses. However, there is limited large-scale data to investigate how these factors vary by population and sub-type of cancer. By utilising the size and breadth of the information collected by the UK Biobank, we can provide further evidence to support previously identified risk factors for cancer, and investigate if and how these risk factors vary by cancer type and population. Additionally, by comparing these results with those from similar studies in other populations, we can investigate if the potential causes of cancer types vary depending on the population. This project will run for 5 years.

The aims of this application are to investigate:

1) The association of risk factors, such as anthropometric factors, reproductive factors, circulating biomarkers and lifestyle factors (diet, physical activity, smoking, exogenous hormone use etc.), with all incident cancer outcomes;

2) How these associations differ by cancer subtype.


3) In addition to lifestyle factors we are also interested in genetic factors and risk of cancer risk

4) We also would like to explore the role of lifestyle and genetic factors in the risk of developing dementia


5)We would also like to explore the role of lifestyle and genetic factors in cardiovascular and neurodegenerative risk