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Approved Research

Using family data in UK Biobank to improve causal inference in epidemiological research

Principal Investigator: Mr Laurence Howe
Approved Research ID: 64921
Approval date: October 5th 2021

Lay summary

Family data is very useful for understanding the causes and consequences of socially patterned traits (e.g. education) because family designs can control for the family environment. For example, if you compare two full siblings, they will share parents and other environmental factors. The majority of studies do not use family designs and so their results may have not accounted for family-environment effects.  We aim to apply family data (e.g. siblings and parent-offspring) in the UK Biobank study to genetic and epidemiological research questions to generate more reliable results. Our project will last 36 months. Our project will generate more accurate estimates of the effects of genetic variation using families and improve understanding of how the early-life environment affects health in later-life.