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Approved research

Risk factors and associated causal pathways linked to blood pressure

Principal Investigator: Professor Paul Elliott
Approved Research ID: 10035
Approval date: March 16th 2017

Lay summary

High blood pressure (BP) is the leading risk factor for global disease burden. Although the role of some dietary and lifestyle risk factors in high BP has been well-established, research is still needed to investigate further determinants of high BP and examine whether these associations translate into associations with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Using the rich UK Biobank data, we plan a) to establish reliably the major lifestyle and environmental determinants of high BP b) to examine whether these associations have subsequent effects on incident CVD and c) improve understanding of the different causal pathways in blood pressure and CVD. This research proposal is consistent with UK Biobank?s mission of health related research in the public interest. We will examine robustly the relationship between risk factors with BP and cardiovascular disease and provide evidence for risk factors associated with these prevalent conditions. We will investigate cross-sectional associations between a variety of risk factors measured at baseline and systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) cross-sectionally. Instead of testing one association at a time, we will test a wide selection of risk factors (lifestyle, dietary, occupational, socioeconomic, biomarkers) with adjustment for multiplicity of comparisons and cross-validation. We will then test the association between risk factors that are robustly associated with BP (based on previous analyses and the literature) with incident CVD. Finally, we will perform a series of Mendelian Randomisation analyses to test the causality of associations. We include the full cohort in our analysis.