Investigating the genetic and non-genetic causes of surgical disease
The number of operations being done across the world is increasing. Roughly one in ten people have an operation every year. This has important effects on patients' quality of life and healthcare resources. Most surgical diseases are caused by a combination of genetic and non-genetic factors. These factors are not well understood. We do not know why some people have mild disease that can be treated with medicines but some people have more severe disease that must be treated with an operation. We want to design better ways to prevent and treat surgical problems.
Our aim is to find out what causes diseases that are commonly treated with surgery and what makes people more at risk of needing an operation. We will use genetic and non-genetic data collected by the UK Biobank and study this over five years. We will compare differences between people who have mild disease that does not need an operation, and those with severe disease that does need an operation, to controls without a surgical problem.
We will use data from all the UK Biobank participants. We will use our international collaborations to see whether the findings in the UK Biobank are the same in people from other countries around the world. Ultimately, we hope to discover new treatments that can prevent surgical diseases from happening in the first place.