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Approved research

Multi-morbidity in Chronic Lung Disease: Using GWAS and Mendelian Randomization to establish causality

Principal Investigator: Dr Daniel Higbee
Approved Research ID: 55521
Approval date: January 15th 2020

Lay summary

Chronic lung disease e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are very common with over 1 million diagnosed in the UK. 70% of these patients will have one or more other chronic disease e.g. high blood pressure, depression, heart disease. This causes an increase in death rates, healthcare utilisation and reduces quality of life. Observational epidemiology (surveying a group of patients) has shown that it may be the lung disease itself causing the co-exsistent diseases. However observational epidemiology never establishes whether the association is casual, or is co-incidental. Mendelian randomisation is a technique that uses genetic differences between people to determine casual relationships. To perform Mendelian Randomization correctly I need genetic data that can be gained through analysis of pre-exsisting BioBank data. I can then use Mendelian Randomization to determine if any or all of the diseases associated with chronic lung disease are directly caused by the lung disease. This could lead to treatments that reduce chronic disease in those with lung disease.