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Approved research

Phenotyping Airways Dysfunction in the General Population: A UK Biobank Evaluation

Principal Investigator: Dr Salman Siddiqui
Approved Research ID: 17379
Approval date: January 15th 2017

Lay summary

The key aims of the projects are to utilise information extracted from breathing tests, clinical outcome reports and genetics in the UK biobank to: (i) Determine whether measurements of small airway dysfunction are related to disease states such as asthma or COPD (ii) Determine whether measurements of small airway dysfunction are related to all cause mortality. (iii) To evaluate the relationship between blood eosinophils (a biomarker of therapy response in asthma and COPD)and small airways dysfunction. (iv)To evaluate genetic and environmental risk markers of small airways dysfunction. A major objective of UK biobank is to ?build a major resource that can support a diverse range of research intended to improve the UK prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness and the promotion of health throughout society?. Small airways dysfunction may be an early precursor of the airflow limitation that characterises diseases such as COPD and asthma. The proposed research will indentify the clinical importance of small airways dysfunction as well as genetic, environmental and biologically relevant factors that may underpin this trait at a population level. Lung function (spirometry) data will be acquired from the entire UK biobank population. Information on small airways dysfunction will require processing of raw flow,time digital data to evaluate late expiratory flows. This will be performed using customised automated algorithms. Spirometry that meets appropriate quality control criteria only will be selected and linked to additional UK Biobank meta data. This additional meta data will comprise (i) self identified asthma, and spirometry defined COPD, (ii) environmental particulate matter data,(iii)data from blood counts on eosinophil numbers and (iv) in a subset of patients:genetic analysis. We would like to have access to primary care records and hospital episode statistics to confirm disease status to conform the validity of asthma and COPD diagnoses. Planned analysis in the full cohort for all data other than the genetic analysis which is planned in the previously reported UK BILEVE cohort only. We will extend the genetic analysis to the entire UK biobank genotyping dataset once it is available.