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Approved Research

The association and developmental trajectory networks of different diseases

Principal Investigator: Dr Jianjun Ren
Approved Research ID: 80787
Approval date: June 7th 2022

Lay summary

Aims: With a focus on medical conditions associated with a prior diagnosis of emerged diseases/symptoms/behaviors such as COVID-19, sleep disorders, smoking status, chronic diseases, etc., we aim to clarify the disease trajectory network after emerged diseases/symptoms/behaviors based on the UK Biobank data. This project also aims to explore the environmental factors and genetic causes of these diseases via UK biobank population, in order to prevent these diseases in the future and find more suitable medication and treatment.

Scientific rationale: We intend to identify causal links between different diseases and various health consequences, including associations between genetic variants and target variables and causal relationships between variables. Disease trajectory networks of emerged diseases are expected to explicate the relationships with other occurring diseases, for instance, to show the diseases that may occur in COVID-19 patients and diseases leading to the death of patients. Additionally, the trajectory networks could also be used for other common diseases other than COVID-19. Similarly, there were reason-result relationships between different symptoms and chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cancer. A thorough investigation towards genetic and phenotypic (refers to demographics and clinical characteristics variables, such as age, gender, smoking status, education, diet, nutrient, medication and certain disease, etc.) associations between different symptoms and diseases indicated that treatment methods working for one disease may also be effective for other diseases. During our research process, we will ensure the data security and strictly control research methods in order to obtain the most authentic and reliable research data. Furthermore, our research group include not only highly qualified statisticians, but also experienced clinicians, which will make our research topics more rigorous and clinically meaningful.

Project duration: Given the large number of questions we plan to answer with the UK Biobank data, this project will take 36 months.

Public health impact: Through the above, obviously our project can bring reformative significance to the promotion of public health. During which, our project could make big significance of diagnosis and treatment decisions guiding to improve patient outcomes.