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Approved research

Risk factors for aortic dissection in the UK Biobank Study

Principal Investigator: Dr Dagfinn Aune
Approved Research ID: 41617
Approval date: January 29th 2019

Lay summary

The aims of the current project are to investigate the association between: 1) Dietary factors, 2) anthropometric factors including DXA measures of body composition, 3) physical activity (self-reported and objective accelerometry) and grip strength, 4) smoking, 5) blood pressure and lipids, 6) inflammatory and other biomarkers 7) medical history and ECG data and data from MRI scans, 8) genetic factors and the risk of aortic dissection. Aortic dissection is a condition where an injury to the innermost layer of the aorta (intima) allows the blood to flow between the layers of the aortic wall, forcing the layers apart. Although aortic dissection is a relatively uncommon disease, with an estimated incidence of 2-3 cases per 100000 persons per year, it is a very serious condition which can quickly lead to death from not enough blood flow to the heart, brain or because of rupture of the aorta. There are two main types of aortic dissection - Stanford type A (includes the ascending aorta) and type B (does not include the ascending aorta). The 30-day fatality rates are higher for type A dissections than type B dissections (>70% vs. 13%). The current project will aim to identify novel modifiable and genetic risk factors for aortic dissections and will therefore be important for the primary prevention of the disease. Given the limited knowledge currently existing with regard to risk factors for aortic dissections there is a great need for studies on this often fatal disease.