UK Biobank is a landmark cohort of more than 500,000 adults, providing an unparalleled opportunity to understand the determinants of health and wellbeing and to improve the health of the population. Direct assessments and linkage to health and mortality outcomes together form a powerful resource, encompassing clinical, lifestyle, sociodemographic, physiological, imaging and genetic data.

Our UK Biobank research investigates health-related traits, risk factors and outcomes in a range of complex conditions. Much of our work involves genetic methods to discover the underlying causes of mental and physical health traits and disorders. Since 2013, we have produced a growing body of evidence at the interface between mental and physical health, and have returned new derived data to enhance the resource for use by others. 

Professor Jill Pell is part of the UK Biobank steering committee and Professor Daniel Smith is a co-chair of the UK Biobank Mental Health Genetics Group.

COVID-19

We were among the first groups to harness the breadth of data in UK Biobank to investigate risk factors, outcomes and inequalities associated with COVID-19.

Key papers

Jani, B. D. et al. (2021) Family history of diabetes and risk of SARS-COV-2 in UK Biobank: a prospective cohort study. Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, (doi: 10.1002/edm2.283) (Early Online Publication)

Anderson, J. J. et al. (2021) Remote history of VTE is associated with severe COVID-19 in middle and older age: UK Biobank cohort study. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, (doi: 10.1111/jth.15452) (PMID:34242477) (Early Online Publication)

Hastie, C., Pell, J. and Sattar, N. (2021) Vitamin D and COVID-19 infection and mortality in UK Biobank. European Journal of Nutrition, 60, pp. 545-548. (doi: 10.1007/s00394-020-02372-4) (PMID:32851419) (PMCID:PMC7449523)

Mutambudzi, M. et al. (2021) Occupation and risk of severe COVID-19: prospective cohort study of 120 075 UK Biobank participants. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 78(5), pp. 307-314. (doi: 10.1136/oemed-2020-106731) (PMID:33298533)

Ho, F. K. et al. (2020) Modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for COVID-19, and comparison to risk factors for influenza and pneumonia: results from a UK Biobank prospective cohort study. BMJ Open, 10, e040402. (doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-040402) (PMID:33444201) (PMCID:PMC7678347)

Petermann-Rocha, F. et al. (2020) Comparison of two different frailty measurements and risk of hospitalisation or death from COVID-19: findings from UK Biobank. BMC Medicine, 18, 355. (doi: 10.1186/s12916-020-01822-4) (PMID:33167965) (PMCID:PMC7652674)

Ho, F. K. et al. (2020) Is older age associated with COVID-19 mortality in the absence of other risk factors? General population cohort study of 470,034 participants. PLoS ONE, 15(11), e0241824. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0241824) (PMID:33152008) (PMCID:PMC7644030)

McQueenie, R. et al. (2020) Multimorbidity, polypharmacy, and COVID-19 infection within the UK Biobank cohort. PLoS ONE, 15(8), e0238091. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0238091) (PMID:32817712) (PMCID:PMC7440632)

Hastie, C. E. et al. (2020) Vitamin D concentrations and COVID-19 infection in UK Biobank. Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Reviews, 14(4), pp. 561-565. (doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2020.04.050) (PMID:32413819) (PMCID:PMC7204679)

Niedzwiedz, C. L. et al. (2020) Ethnic and socioeconomic differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection: prospective cohort study using UK Biobank. BMC Medicine, 18, 160. (doi: 10.1186/s12916-020-01640-8) (PMID:32466757) (PMCID:PMC7255908)


Mental health

UK Biobank provides rich information about psychiatric disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder, as well as psychological traits and experiences of distress and adversity across the population. Our research aims to: elucidate the basis of core psychological symptoms and traits and their relevance to wellbeing; understand the interface between physical and mental health; and explore the implications of these findings for the development of stratified medicine.

Key papers

Zhu, X., Ward, J., Cullen, B., Lyall, D. M., Strawbridge, R. J., Lyall, L. M. and Smith, D. J. (2021) Phenotypic and genetic associations between anhedonia and brain structure in UK Biobank. Translational Psychiatry, 11, 395. (doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01522-4) (PMID:34282121)

Shaw, R., Cullen, B., Graham, N., Lyall, D., Mackay, D., Okolie, C., Pearsall, R., Ward, J., John, A. and Smith, D. (2021) Living alone, loneliness and lack of emotional support as predictors of suicide and self-harm: a nine-year follow up of the UK Biobank cohort. Journal of Affective Disorders, 279, pp. 316-323. (doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.10.026) (PMID:33096330)

Strawbridge, R. J. et al. (2021) The overlap of genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia and cardiometabolic disease can be used to identify metabolically different groups of individuals. Scientific Reports, 11, 632. (doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-79964-x) (PMID:33436761) (PMCID:PMC7804422)

Niedzwiedz, C. L., Robb, K. A., Katikireddi, S. V., Pell, J. P. and Smith, D. J. (2020) Depressive symptoms, neuroticism and participation in breast and cervical cancer screening: cross-sectional and prospective evidence from UK Biobank. Psycho-Oncology, 29(2), pp. 381-388. (doi: 10.1002/pon.5272) (PMID:31663185) (PMCID:PMC7002161)

Johnston, K. J. A., Adams, M. J., Nicholl, B. I., Ward, J., Strawbridge, R., McIntosh, A., Smith, D. J. and Bailey, M. E. S. (2019) Identification of novel common variants associated with chronic pain using conditional false discovery rate analysis with major depressive disorder and assessment of pleiotropic effects of LRFN5. Translational Psychiatry, 9, 310. (doi: 10.1038/s41398-019-0613-4) (PMID:31748543) (PMCID:PMC6868167)

Ward, J. et al. (2020) The genomic basis of mood instability: identification of 46 loci in 363,705 UK Biobank participants, genetic correlation with psychiatric disorders, and association with gene expression and function. Molecular Psychiatry, 25(11), pp. 3091-3099. (doi: 10.1038/s41380-019-0439-8) (PMID:31168069) (PMCID:PMC7116257)

Morris, J. et al. (2019) Genetic variation in CADM2 as a link between psychological traits and obesity. Scientific Reports, 9, 7339. (doi:10.1038/s41598-019-43861-9) (PMID:31089183)

Strawbridge, R. J. et al. (2019) Identification of novel genome-wide associations for suicidality in UK Biobank, genetic correlation with psychiatric disorders and polygenic association with completed suicide. EBioMedicine, (doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.02.005) (PMID:30745170)

Ward, J. et al. (2019) Novel genome-wide associations for anhedonia, genetic correlation with psychiatric disorders, and polygenic association with brain structure. Translational Psychiatry, 9, 327. (doi: 10.1038/s41398-019-0635-y) (PMID:31797917)

Ward, J. et al. (2018) Polygenic risk scores for major depressive disorder and neuroticism as predictors of antidepressant response: meta-analysis of three treatment cohorts. PLoS ONE, 13(9), e0203896. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0203896) (PMID:30240446) (PMCID:PMC6150505)

Strawbridge, R. et al. (2018) Genetics of self-reported risk-taking behaviour, trans-ethnic consistency and relevance to brain gene expression. Translational Psychiatry, 8, 178. (doi:10.1038/s41398-018-0236-1) (PMID:30181555)

Strawbridge, R. J. et al. (2018) Genome-wide analysis of self-reported risk-taking behaviour and cross-disorder genetic correlations in the UK Biobank cohort. Translational Psychiatry, 8, 39. (doi:10.1038/s41398-017-0079-1) (PMID:29391395) (PMCID:PMC5804026)

Ward, J. et al. (2017) Genome-wide analysis in UK Biobank identifies four loci associated with mood instability and genetic correlation with major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder and schizophrenia. Translational Psychiatry, 7, 1264. (doi:10.1038/s41398-017-0012-7) (PMID:29187730) (PMCID:PMC5802589)

Smith, D.J. et al. (2016) Genome-wide analysis of over 106 000 individuals identifies 9 neuroticism-associated loci. Molecular Psychiatry, 21(6), pp. 749-757. (doi:10.1038/mp.2016.49) (PMID:27067015)

Smith, D. et al. (2013) Prevalence and characteristics of probable major depression and bipolar disorder within UK Biobank: cross-sectional study of 172,751 participants. PLoS ONE, 8(11), e75362. 24282498. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075362) (PMID:PMC3839907)


Cognitive function

UK Biobank participants completed tests of thinking, speed and memory, allowing us to understand how cognitive function is determined by multiple genetic and non-genetic factors, and how these complex processes change in the context of ageing and disease.

Key papers

Tank, R., Ward, J., Celis-Morales, C., Smith, D. J., Flegal, K. E. and Lyall, D. M. (2021) Testing for interactions between APOE and Klotho genotypes on cognitive, dementia and brain imaging metrics in UK Biobank. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, (Accepted for Publication)

Milton, D. C., Ward, J., Ward, E., Lyall, D. M., Strawbridge, R. J., Smith, D. J. and Cullen, B. (2021) The association between C-reactive protein, mood disorder and cognitive function in UK Biobank European Psychiatry. European Psychiatry, 64(1), e14. (doi: 10.1192/j.eurpsy.2021.6) (PMID:33517931)

Lyall, D. M., Ward, J., Banach, M., Smith, G. D., Gill, J. G., Pell, J. P., Holmes, M. V. and Sattar, N. (2021) PCSK9 genetic variants and cognitive abilities: a large-scale Mendelian randomization study. Archives of Medical Science, 17(1), pp. 241-244. (doi: 10.5114/aoms/127226)

Ferguson, A. C. et al. (2020) Alzheimer’s disease susceptibility gene apolipoprotein e (APOE) and blood biomarkers in UK Biobank (N=395,769). Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 76(4), pp. 1541-1551. (doi: 10.3233/JAD-200338) (PMID:32651323)

Ferguson, A. C. et al. (2020) Association of SBP and BMI with cognitive and structural brain phenotypes in UK Biobank. Journal of Hypertension, 38(12), pp. 2482-2489. (doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000002579) (PMID:32665523)

Cullen, B., Smith, D. J., Deary, I. J., Pell, J. P., Keyes, K. M. and Evans, J. J. (2019) Understanding cognitive impairment in mood disorders: mediation analyses in the UK Biobank Cohort. British Journal of Psychiatry, 215(5), pp. 683-690. (doi:10.1192/bjp.2019.188) (PMID:31412972)

Lyall, L. M., Cullen, B., Lyall, D. M., Leighton, S. P., Siebert, S., Smith, D. J. and Cavanagh, J. (2019) The associations between self-reported depression, self-reported chronic inflammatory conditions and cognitive abilities in UK Biobank. European Psychiatry, 60, pp. 63-70. (doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2019.05.007) (PMID:31158611) (PMCID:PMC6669333)

Lyall, D. M. et al. (2019) Assessing for interaction between APOE ε4, sex and lifestyle on cognitive abilities. Neurology, 92, e2691-e2698. (doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000007551) (PMID:31028125) (PMCID:PMC6556094)

Cullen, B., Newby, D., Lee, D., Lyall, D. M., Nevado-Holgado, A. J., Evans, J. J., Pell, J. P., Lovestone, S. and Cavanagh, J. (2018) Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of outdoor air pollution exposure and cognitive function in UK Biobank. Scientific Reports, 8, 12089. (doi:10.1038/s41598-018-30568-6) (PMID:30108252)

Cullen, B., Smith, D.J., Deary, I.J., Evans, J.J. and Pell, J.P. (2017) The 'cognitive footprint' of psychiatric and neurological conditions: cross-sectional study in the UK Biobank cohort. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 135(6), pp. 593-605. (doi:10.1111/acps.12733) (PMID:28387438)

Lyall, D. M., Celis-Morales, C. A., Anderson, J., Gill, J. M.R., Mackay, D. F., McIntosh, A. M., Smith, D. J., Deary, I. J., Sattar, N. and Pell, J. P. (2017) Associations between single and multiple cardiometabolic diseases and cognitive abilities in 474 129 UK Biobank participants. European Heart Journal, 38(8), pp. 577-583. (doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehw528) (PMID:28363219)

Lyall, D. M. et al. (2016) Alzheimer disease genetic risk factor APOE e4, and cognitive abilities in 111,739 UK Biobank participants. Age and Ageing, 45(4), pp. 511-517. (doi:10.1093/ageing/afw068) (PMID:27103599)

Lyall, D. M. et al. (2016) Cognitive test scores in UK Biobank: data reduction in 480,416 participants and longitudinal stability in 20,346 participants. PLoS ONE, 11(4), e0154222. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154222) (PMID:27110937)

Cullen, B. et al. (2015) Cognitive function and lifetime features of depression and bipolar disorder in a large population sample: Cross-sectional study of 143,828 UK Biobank participants. European Psychiatry, 30(8), pp. 950-958. (doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2015.08.006) (PMID:26647871)


Cardiometabolic health

There is a wealth of data on risk factors for cardiometabolic disease available within UK Biobank and our focus to date has been on the interface between mental and physical health. We also aim to integrate genetic and imaging data to study cardiometabolic health outcomes.

Key papers

Burt, O., Johnston, K. J. A., Graham, N., Cullen, B., Lyall, D. M., Lyall, L. M., Pell, J. P., Ward, J., Smith, D. J. and Strawbridge, R. J. (2021) Genetic variation in the ASTN2 locus in cardiovascular, metabolic and psychiatric traits: evidence for pleiotropy rather than shared biology. Genes, 12(8), 1194. (doi: 10.3390/genes12081194)

Strawbridge, R. J. et al. (2021) The overlap of genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia and cardiometabolic disease can be used to identify metabolically different groups of individuals. Scientific Reports, 11, 632. (doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-79964-x) (PMID:33436761) (PMCID:PMC7804422)

Anderson, J. J. et al. (2021) Ethnic differences in prevalence of actionable HbA1c levels in UK Biobank: implications for screening. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, 9(1), e002176. (doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2021-002176)

Jani, B. D., McQueenie, R., Nicholl, B. I., Field, R., Hanlon, P., Gallacher, K. I., Mair, F. S. and Lewsey, J. (2021) Association between patterns of alcohol consumption (beverage type, frequency and consumption with food) and risk of adverse health outcomes: a prospective cohort study. BMC Medicine, 19, 8. (doi: 10.1186/s12916-020-01878-2) (PMID:33430840) (PMCID:PMC7802201)

Hastie, C., Pell, J. and Sattar, N. (2021) Vitamin D and COVID-19 infection and mortality in UK Biobank. European Journal of Nutrition, 60, pp. 545-548. (doi: 10.1007/s00394-020-02372-4) (PMID:32851419) (PMCID:PMC7449523)

Morris, J. et al. (2020) Exploring the role of contactins across psychological, psychiatric and cardiometabolic traits within UK Biobank. Genes, 11(11), 1326. (doi: 10.3390/genes11111326) (PMID:33182605) (PMCID:PMC7697406)

Hastie, C. E. et al. (2020) Vitamin D concentrations and COVID-19 infection in UK Biobank. Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Reviews, 14(4), pp. 561-565. (doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2020.04.050) (PMID:32413819) (PMCID:PMC7204679)

Ferguson, A. C. et al. (2020) Association of SBP and BMI with cognitive and structural brain phenotypes in UK Biobank. Journal of Hypertension, 38(12), pp. 2482-2489. (doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000002579) (PMID:32665523)

Ho, F. K., Celis-Morales, C., Gray, S. R., Petermann-Rocha, F., Lyall, D., Mackay, D., Sattar, N., Minnis, H. and Pell, J. P. (2020) Child maltreatment and cardiovascular disease: quantifying mediation pathways using UK Biobank. BMC Medicine, 18, 143. (doi: 10.1186/s12916-020-01603-z) (PMID:32527275) (PMCID:PMC7291652)

Anderson, J. J., Gray, S. R., Welsh, P., Mackay, D. F., Celis-Morales, C. A., Lyall, D. M., Forbes, J., Sattar, N., Gill, J. M. R. and Pell, J. P. (2020) The associations of sugar-sweetened, artificially sweetened and naturally sweet juices with all-cause mortality in 198,285 UK Biobank participants: a prospective cohort study. BMC Medicine, 18(1), 97. (doi: 10.1186/s12916-020-01554-5) (PMID:32326961)

Ho, F. K. et al. (2020) Associations of fat and carbohydrate intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality: prospective cohort study of UK Biobank participants. British Medical Journal, 368(8238), m688. (doi: 10.1136/bmj.m688) (PMID:32188587)

Strawbridge, R. J. et al. (2020) Carotid intima-media thickness: novel loci, sex-specific effects, and genetic correlations with obesity and glucometabolic traits in UKB. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 40(2), pp. 446-461. (doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.313226) (PMID:31801372) (PMCID:PMC6975521)

Graham, N. A., Ward, J., Mackay, D., Pell, J., Cavanagh, J., Padmanabhan, S. and Smith, D. J. (2019) Impact of major depression on cardiovascular outcomes for individuals with hypertension: prospective survival analysis in UK Biobank. BMJ Open, 9(9), e024433. (doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024433)

Morris, J. et al. (2019) Genetic variation in CADM2 as a link between psychological traits and obesity. Scientific Reports, 9, 7339. (doi:10.1038/s41598-019-43861-9) (PMID:31089183)

Lyall, D. M. et al. (2020) Association between APOE e4 and white matter hyperintensity volume, but not total brain volume or white matter integrity. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 14(5), pp. 1468-1476. (doi: 10.1007/s11682-019-00069-9) (PMID:30903549) (PMCID:PMC7572345)

Lyall, D. M. et al. (2017) Association of body mass index with cardiometabolic disease in the UK Biobank: a Mendelian randomization study. JAMA Cardiology, 2(8), pp. 882-889. (doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.5804) (PMID:28678979)

Lyall, D. M., Celis-Morales, C. A., Anderson, J., Gill, J. M.R., Mackay, D. F., McIntosh, A. M., Smith, D. J., Deary, I. J., Sattar, N. and Pell, J. P. (2017) Associations between single and multiple cardiometabolic diseases and cognitive abilities in 474 129 UK Biobank participants. European Heart Journal, 38(8), pp. 577-583. (doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehw528) (PMID:28363219)

Anderson, J.J., Celis, C.A., Mackay, D.F., Iliodromiti, S., Lyall, D.M., Sattar, N., Gill, J.M.R. and Pell, J.P. (2016) Adiposity among 132 479 UK Biobank participants; contribution of sugar intake vs other macronutrients. International Journal of Epidemiology, (doi:10.1093/ije/dyw173) (PMID:27407038)

Martin, D. J. et al. (2016) Cardiometabolic disease and features of depression and bipolar disorder: population-based, cross-sectional study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 208(4), pp. 343-351. (doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.114.157784) (PMID:26795427)


Multimorbidity & treatment burden

We are interested in chronic illness, especially multimorbidity (presence of two or more chronic conditions). Our aim is to determine the extent and patterns of morbidity reporting and treatment use, and to investigate the impact of comorbidity and multimorbidity on healthcare outcomes and on the treatment burden that people experience. We will also investigate prognostic factors and the specific impact of having chronic pain and/or depression on individuals with chronic illness. This research will investigate reporting of chronic illness, including heart disease, stroke, COPD, arthritis, osteoporosis, and depression, all of which are priorities for UK Biobank; and examine treatment and outcomes for people with multiple conditions, taking into account sociodemographic and other factors. We will examine causal pathways and prognostic factors, and this will allow us to gain a better understanding of multimorbidity and to consider potential management and treatment approaches for individuals with multimorbidity.

Key papers

Sullivan, M. K. et al. (2021) Multimorbidity and the risk of major adverse kidney events: findings from the UK Biobank cohort. Clinical Kidney Journal, (doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfab079) (Early Online Publication)

McQueenie, R., Jani, B. D., Siebert, S., McCowan, C., Macdonald, S., Mair, F. S. and Nicholl, B. I. (2021) Prevalence of chronic pain in LTCs and multimorbidity: a cross-sectional study using UK Biobank. Journal of Multimorbidity and Comorbidity, (Accepted for Publication)

Petermann-Rocha, F. et al. (2020) Comparison of two different frailty measurements and risk of hospitalisation or death from COVID-19: findings from UK Biobank. BMC Medicine, 18, 355. (doi: 10.1186/s12916-020-01822-4) (PMID:33167965) (PMCID:PMC7652674)

Ho, F. K. et al. (2020) Is older age associated with COVID-19 mortality in the absence of other risk factors? General population cohort study of 470,034 participants. PLoS ONE, 15(11), e0241824. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0241824) (PMID:33152008)

McQueenie, R., Nicholl, B. I., Jani, B. D., Canning, J., Macdonald, S., McCowan, C., Neary, J., Browne, S., Mair, F. S. and Siebert, S. (2020) Patterns of multimorbidity and their effects on adverse outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis: a study of 5658 UK Biobank participants. BMJ Open, 10(11), e038829. (doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038829) (PMID:33234629)

McQueenie, R. et al. (2020) Multimorbidity, polypharmacy, and COVID-19 infection within the UK Biobank cohort. PLoS ONE, 15(8), e0238091. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0238091) (PMID:32817712) (PMCID:PMC7440632)

Chiang, J. I. et al. (2020) Multimorbidity, mortality, and HbA1c in type 2 diabetes: a cohort study with UK and Taiwanese cohorts. PLoS Medicine, 17(5), e1003094. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003094)

Hanlon, P. et al. (2020) Assessing risks of polypharmacy involving medications with anticholinergic properties. Annals of Family Medicine, 18(2), pp. 148-155. (doi: 10.1370/afm.2501) (PMID:32152019) (PMCID:PMC7062487)

Hanlon, P., McCallum, M., Jani, B. D., McQueenie, R., Lee, D. and Mair, F. S. (2020) Association between childhood maltreatment and the prevalence and complexity of multimorbidity: a cross-sectional analysis of 157,357 UK Biobank participants. Journal of Comorbidity, 10, pp. 1-12. (doi: 10.1177/2235042X10944344)

Johnston, K. J. A., Adams, M. J., Nicholl, B. I., Ward, J., Strawbridge, R., McIntosh, A., Smith, D. J. and Bailey, M. E. S. (2019) Identification of novel common variants associated with chronic pain using conditional false discovery rate analysis with major depressive disorder and assessment of pleiotropic effects of LRFN5. Translational Psychiatry, 9, 310. (doi: 10.1038/s41398-019-0613-4) (PMID:31748543) (PMCID:PMC6868167)

Johnston, K. J. A., Adams, M. J., Nicholl, B. I., Ward, J., Strawbridge, R., Ferguson, A., McIntosh, A., Bailey, M. E. S. and Smith, D. J. (2019) Genome-wide association study of multisite chronic pain in UK Biobank. PLoS Genetics, 15(6), e1008164. (doi:10.1371/journal. pgen.1008164) (PMID:31194737)

Jani, B. D., Hanlon, P., Nicholl, B. I., McQueenie, R., Gallacher, K. I., Lee, D. and Mair, F. S. (2019) Relationship between multimorbidity, demographic factors and mortality: findings from the UK Biobank Cohort. BMC Medicine, 17, 74. (doi:10.1186/s12916-019-1305-x) (PMID:30967141) (PMCID:PMC6456941)

Foster, H. M. E., Celis-Morales, C. A., Nicholl, B. I., Petermann, F., Pell, J. P., Gill, J. M. R., O'Donnell, C. A. and Mair, F. S. (2018) The effect of socioeconomic deprivation on the association between an extended measurement of unhealthy lifestyle factors and health outcomes: a prospective analysis of the UK Biobank cohort. Lancet Public Health, 3(12), e576-e585. (doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30200-7) (PMID:30467019)

Hanlon, P., Nicholl, B. I., Jani, B. D., Lee, D., McQueenie, R. and Mair, F. S. (2018) Frailty and pre-frailty in middle-aged and older adults and its association with multimorbidity and mortality: a prospective analysis of 493,737 UK Biobank participants. Lancet Public Health, 3(7), e323-e332. (doi:10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30091-4) (PMID:29908859) (PMCID:PMC6028743)

Gallacher, K. I., McQueenie, R., Nicholl, B., Jani, B. D., Lee, D. and Mair, F. S. (2018) Risk factors and mortality associated with multimorbidity in people with stroke or transient ischaemic attack: a study of 8,751 UK Biobank participants. Journal of Comorbidity, 8(1), pp. 1-8. (doi:10.15256/joc.2018.8.129)

Hanlon, P., Nicholl, B. I., Jani, B. D., McQueenie, R., Lee, D., Gallacher, K. I. and Mair, F. S. (2018) Examining patterns of multimorbidity, polypharmacy and risk of adverse drug reactions in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a cross-sectional UK Biobank study. BMJ Open, 8(1), e018404. (doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018404) (PMID:29332840) (PMCID:PMC5781016)

Jani, B. D., Nicholl, B. I., McQueenie, R., Connelly, D. T., Hanlon, P., Gallacher, K. I., Lee, D. and Mair, F. S. (2017) Multimorbidity and co-morbidity in atrial fibrillation and effects on survival: findings from UK Biobank cohort. Europace, (doi:10.1093/europace/eux322) (PMID:29112751)

Nicholl, B. I. et al. (2014) Chronic multisite pain in major depression and bipolar disorder: cross-sectional study of 149,611 participants in UK Biobank. BMC Psychiatry, 14, 350. (doi:10.1186/s12888-014-0350-4) (PMID:25490859) (PMCID:PMC4297369)


Circadian rhythms & sleep

Analysing circadian function measures derived from the accelerometry data in UK Biobank (100,000 participants) is a major focus of our work - for example, to conduct genome-wide association studies of circadian rhythms and to investigate relationships with mental health and cognitive function.

Key papers

Wyse, C. A. et al. (2018) Population-level seasonality in cardiovascular mortality, blood pressure, BMI and inflammatory cells in UK Biobank. Annals of Medicine, 50(5), pp. 410-419. (doi:10.1080/07853890.2018.1472389) (PMID:29724143)

Ferguson, A. et al. (2018) Genome-wide association study of circadian rhythmicity in 71,500 UK Biobank participants and polygenic association with mood instability. EBioMedicine, 35, pp. 279-287. (doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2018.08.004) (PMID:30120083) (PMCID:PMC6154782)

Lyall, L. M. et al. (2018) Association of disrupted circadian rhythmicity with mood disorders, subjective wellbeing, and cognitive function: a cross-sectional study of 91 105 participants from the UK Biobank. Lancet Psychiatry, 5(6), pp. 507-514. (doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(18)30139-1) (PMID:29776774)

Lyall, L. M. et al. (2018) Seasonality of depressive symptoms in women but not in men: a cross-sectional study in the UK Biobank cohort. Journal of Affective Disorders, 229, pp. 296-305. (doi:10.1016/j.jad.2017.12.106) (PMID:29329063)

Wyse, C. A. et al. (2017) Adverse metabolic and mental health outcomes associated with shiftwork in a population-based study of 277 168 workers in UK biobank. Annals of Medicine, (doi:10.1080/07853890.2017.1292045) (PMID:28166415)


Social determinants & outcomes

Health is strongly shaped by the socioeconomic circumstances in which people live. Similarly, poor health can adversely impact people’s social and economic outcomes, such as their capacity to work and engage in society. In addition to the detailed health information collected in UK Biobank, there are also a rich set of social variables (including employment histories) available. Our work involves analysing different dimensions of health inequalities, quantifying the adverse social consequences of poor health and investigating the relationship between employment and health. In addition to more traditional observational epidemiological analyses, our work also takes advantage of the availability of genetic data to better establish causal relationships through Mendelian randomisation analyses.

Key papers

Ho, F., Celis-Morales, C., Gray, S. R., Demou, E., Mackay, D., Welsh, P., Katikireddi, S. V., Sattar, N. and Pell, J. (2021) Association and pathways between shift work and cardiovascular disease: A prospective cohort study of 238,661 participants from UK Biobank. International Journal of Epidemiology, (Accepted for Publication)

Campbell, D. D. et al. (2021) Effects of increased body mass index on employment status: a Mendelian randomisation study. International Journal of Obesity, 45(8), pp. 1790-1801. (doi: 10.1038/s41366-021-00846-x) (PMID:34158612)

Mutambudzi, M. et al. (2021) Occupation and risk of severe COVID-19: prospective cohort study of 120 075 UK Biobank participants. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 78(5), pp. 307-314. (doi: 10.1136/oemed-2020-106731) (PMID:33298533)

Harrison, S. et al. (2020) The causal effects of health conditions and risk factors on social and socioeconomic outcomes: Mendelian randomization in UK Biobank. International Journal of Epidemiology, 49(5), pp. 1661-1681. (doi: 10.1093/ije/dyaa114) (PMID:32808034) (PMCID:PMC7746412)

Niedzwiedz, C. L. et al. (2020) Ethnic and socioeconomic differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection: prospective cohort study using UK Biobank. BMC Medicine, 18, 160. (doi: 10.1186/s12916-020-01640-8) (PMID:32466757) (PMCID:PMC7255908)

Foster, H. M. E., Celis-Morales, C. A., Nicholl, B. I., Petermann, F., Pell, J. P., Gill, J. M. R., O'Donnell, C. A. and Mair, F. S. (2018) The effect of socioeconomic deprivation on the association between an extended measurement of unhealthy lifestyle factors and health outcomes: a prospective analysis of the UK Biobank cohort. Lancet Public Health, 3(12), e576-e585. (doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30200-7) (PMID:30467019)


Data outputs from our research

Here you can find data outputs relating to our research publications.

Strawbridge, R., Ward, J., Bailey, M., Cullen, B., Ferguson, A., Graham, N., Johnston, K., Lyall, L., Pearsall, R., Pell, J., Shaw, R., Tank, R., Lyall, D. and Smith, D. (2021) Summary statistics from a genome-wide association study of carotid intima-media thickness in UK Biobank. [Data Collection]

Johnston, K., Ward, J., Ray, P. R., Adams, M. J., McIntosh, A. M., Smith, B., Strawbridge, R., Price, T. J., Smith, D. J., Nicholl, B. and Bailey, M. (2021) Sex-Stratified Genome-Wide Association Study of Multisite Chronic Pain in UK Biobank. [Data Collection]

Ward, J., Strawbridge, R., Bailey, M., Graham, N., Ferguson, A., Lyall, D., Cullen, B., Pidgeon, L., Cavanagh, J., Mackay, D., Pell, J., O'Donovan, M., Escott-Price, V. and Smith, D. (2020) Genome-wide analysis in UK Biobank identifies four loci associated with mood instability and genetic correlation with major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder and schizophrenia. [Data Collection]

Strawbridge, R., Ward, J., Ferguson, A., Graham, N., Shaw, R., Cullen, B., Pearsall, R., Lyall, L., Johnston, K., Niedzwiedz, C., Pell, J., Mackay, D., Martin, J., Lyall, D., Bailey, M. and Smith, D. (2019) Identification of novel genome-wide associations for suicidality in UK Biobank, genetic correlation with psychiatric disorders and polygenic association with completed suicide. [Data Collection]

Ferguson, A., Lyall, L., Ward, J., Strawbridge, R., Cullen, B., Graham, N., Niedzwiedz, C., Johnston, K., Mackay, D., Biello, S., Pell, J., Cavanagh, J., McIntosh, A. M., Doherty, A., Bailey, M., Lyall, D., Wyse, C. and Smith, D. (2019) Genome-Wide Association Study of Circadian Rhythmicity in 71,500 UK Biobank Participants and Polygenic Association with Mood Instability. [Data Collection]

Strawbridge, R., Ward, J., Lyall, L., Tunbridge, E. M., Cullen, B., Graham, N., Ferguson, A., Johnston, K., Lyall, D., Mackay, D., Cavanagh, J., Howard, D. M., Adams, M. J., Deary, I., Escott-Price, V., O’Donovan, M., McIntosh, A. M., Bailey, M., Pell, J., Harrison, P. and Smith, D. (2019) Genetics of self-reported risk-taking behaviour, trans-ethnic consistency and relevance to brain gene expression. [Data Collection]

Ward, J., Lyall, L., Bethlehem, R. A. I., Ferguson, A., Strawbridge, R., Lyall, D., Cullen, B., Graham, N., Johnston, K., Bailey, M., Murray, G. K. and Smith, D. (2019) Novel genome-wide associations for anhedonia, genetic correlation with psychiatric disorders, and polygenic association with brain structure. [Data Collection]

Ward, J., Tunbridge, E. M., Sandor, C., Lyall, L., Ferguson, A., Strawbridge, R., Lyall, D., Cullen, B., Graham, N., Johnston, K. J. A., Webber, C., Escott-Price, V., O’Donovan, M., Pell, J., Bailey, M., Harrison, P. J. and Smith, D. (2019) The genomic basis of mood instability: identification of 46 loci in 363,705 UK Biobank participants, genetic correlation with psychiatric disorders, and association with gene expression and function. [Data Collection]

Johnston, K., Adams, M. J., Nicholl, B., Ward, J., Strawbridge, R., Ferguson, A., McIntosh, A. M., Bailey, M. and Smith, D. (2019) Genome-wide association summary statistics for a genome-wide association study of multisite chronic pain. [Data Collection]