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Approved Research

Traditional and novel metabolic traits and risks of chronic disease subtypes and associated mortality

Principal Investigator: Dr Louisa Gnatiuc
Approved Research ID: 70682
Approval date: October 18th 2021

Lay summary

Previous research has shown that compared to individuals with a healthy body weight, individuals with excess body weight (often linked with excess fat around the abdomen, or excess fat in different parts of the body), have an increased risk for developing many chronic diseases and consequent premature death from such diseases. The UK Biobank data provides novel information on different types of fat in the body (not just body-mass index, or BMI), many types of biomarkers circulating in the blood (including many types of lipids), and genes associated with excess fat and diabetes. This information can help our understanding about how all these health characteristics relate to each other, and how they influence the possibility of developing different types of chronic disease and dying prematurely. For example, these novel data from the UK biobank can help understand how the total amount of fat in the body, or the excess fat stored in the liver, increase the risk for various diseases such as different cancers, and diseases of the heart or blood circulation, liver, kidney or lung. The UKB data will also help us understand if particular blood biomarkers, such as different types of cholesterol, play a role in risk of certain diseases. Ultimately, the findings from this project could help identify new preventable risk factors that could be translated into preventive interventions for different diseases (such as certain types of fat in the body or certain types of lipids never studied before). The analyses will take 3 to 5 years to conduct and publish, and will help advance our understanding about the metabolic determinants for many chronic diseases and premature mortality from such diseases.