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Approved research

Understanding the impact and risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

Principal Investigator: Dr Eric Yuk Fai Wan
Approved Research ID: 65688
Approval date: September 29th 2020

Lay summary

With the ever-growing global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), there is an urgent need to build upon the evidence base on risk factors for NCDs in order to better inform on prevention, diagnosis, and management measures. Dementia, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes are some of the major causes of NCD deaths. Previous studies have laid grounds for the research on potential risk factors and these NCDs, however, overlaps between risk factors and major NCDs and the priorities of individual risk factors remain unclear. This project primarily aims to evaluate the impacts of conventional and potentially innovative risk factors on major NCDs, including dementia, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and hypertension. Both the individual and composite effects of risk factors will be evaluated. Healthcare service utilisation will also be assessed as an indicator of disease burden. In doing so, the secondary aims are to determine prognosis given certain risk factors, hence assisting researchers and clinicians in setting evidence-based targets and developing better recommendations for potential interventions. The proposed project will use existing observational, imaging and genetic data collected by UK Biobank, and will take approximately 24 months to complete. This project will inform on optimal clinical practices, which in turn, would have major benefits on reducing the amount of resources incurred by NCDs.