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Approved Research

Investigating the risk factors of non-communicable chronic disease using biomarkers, lifestyle factors, and environmental factors

Principal Investigator: Dr Yong-Jian Zhu
Approved Research ID: 93398
Approval date: February 23rd 2023

Lay summary


This study aims to investigate the risk factors of NCDs using biomarkers, lifestyle factors, and environmental factors. This study will also explore the effect modifications for these relationships.

Scientific rationale

Non-communicable disease (NCDs), including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, depression, respiratory diseases, and fragility fractures, are collectively responsible for almost 70% of mortality globally. The epidemic of NCDs poses devastating health consequences for individuals, families and communities, and threatens to overwhelm health systems. Therefore, simple and appropriate measures for identifying people with high risk of NCD in public health and clinical practice settings are an important component of prevention and treatment strategies. However, most previous cohort studies have only investigated limited outcomes due to a lack of detailed and extensive medical information. Few cohorts that would allow researchers to systematically investigate various health outcomes based on the same population. Such studies would provide more reliable evidence as consistent methods could be applied in the research, including the exposure estimate and medical examination. We thus proposed to investigate the risk factors of multiple health outcomes of NCDs using biochemical indicators, and lifestyle and environmental factors through the UK biobank study.

Project duration

This project will last 36 months, and will be extended if the research cannot be completed on time.

Public health impact

The specific risk factors and key biomarkers of NCDs identified by our proposed approach will provide insight evidence for the prevention and control of NCDs and provide improved approaches for risk reduction of NCDs incidence and morbidity. The risk estimation models for NCDs can help targeting people at high risk of developing these diseases with a relatively low cost.