Growth and functional trajectories in relation to ageing outcomes

Lead Research Organisation: MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing

Abstract

We aim to identify risk factors from all stages of life which are associated with the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Around one in two men and one in three women suffer a cardiovascular event sometime during life, making CVD a major cause of ill health and death. Although clinical disease only becomes evident at older ages, plaque in the arteries is present by young adulthood. This suggests that exposures and lifestyle from childhood, adolescence and early adulthood have an impact on the development of CVD.

We have collected a comprehensive set of measures of cardiac and vascular structure and function in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD), a cohort study of men and women followed since their birth in March 1946. A major focus of our research is on overweight and high blood pressure, as these are two of the main modifiable causes of CVD. The NSHD already has measures of body size and blood pressure across different stages of life. We investigate the impact of earlier life overweight and blood pressure and their patterns of change on cardiovascular ageing. We also investigate the life time predictors of change in body size and blood pressure.

This work will be important in understanding whether treatment and intervention from a much earlier age than is routine in current clinical practice could yield benefits for CVD prevention.

Technical Summary

Understanding pathways to cardiovascular (CV) ageing are important because, although deaths from heart and circulatory disease are falling, they remain the main cause of premature mortality in the UK. The overall aim of this programme is to identify possible novel intervention strategies and screening opportunities at all stages of the life course which would promote good CV function for as long as possible, and thus prevent or delay the onset of disease, extend the healthy lifespan and improve wellbeing and quality of life. In order to do this we have collected a comprehensive set of measures of cardiac and vascular structure and function as well as repeat measures of CV risk factors in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development, a cohort study of men and women followed since their birth in March 1946. We have previously shown how factors acting during gestation, childhood, adolescence and adult life affect body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP) trajectories and other CV risk factors in the NSHD and across cohorts. With the new NSHD data, our objectives are: to identify life course predictors of BMI, BP and resting heart rate (RHR) lifetime trajectories; to identify the life course risk and protective factors associated with the vascular and cardiac phenotypes at 60-64 years and to understand their cumulative and interactive effects; and to investigate the biological pathways and mechanisms underlying CV ageing and its relationship with ageing of other body systems. In the longer term, the objectives are to assess the predictive power of the cardiac and vascular phenotypes on CV function decline and progression to disease, and the impact of CV ageing on quality of life and wellbeing. This programme will provide key evidence to inform clinical guidelines for the prevention of CVD for the early identification and more targeted management of individuals at risk, and aims to improve CVD risk prediction by incorporating longitudinal trajectories of risk factors and novel biomarkers. This programme addresses the MRC strategic research priority for 2009-14 to improve the chances of living a long and healthy life by taking a life course approach to the investigation of CV ageing.

Publications

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Pierce M (2012) Commentary: The decreasing age of puberty--as much a psychosocial as biological problem? in International journal of epidemiology

 
Description Alzheimer's Society Project Grant - Evidence synthesis of trajectories
Amount £134,876 (GBP)
Funding ID 144 
Organisation Alzheimer’s Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description NIHR - CCF Policy Research Programme - 'LEAP'
Amount £37,982 (GBP)
Organisation National Institute for Health Research 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Population Health Sciences Research Network
Amount £28,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description BIRTH TO TWENTY COHORT STUDY, SOUTH AFRICA 
Organisation Loughborough University
Department Centre for Global Health and Human Development
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration started when a new CDF joined us in 2013. He had previously had this collaboration in his previous job. Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts.
Collaborator Contribution Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts.
Impact 23876525
Start Year 2016
 
Description BIRTH TO TWENTY COHORT STUDY, SOUTH AFRICA 
Organisation University of the Witwatersrand
Country South Africa 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration started when a new CDF joined us in 2013. He had previously had this collaboration in his previous job. Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts.
Collaborator Contribution Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts.
Impact 23876525
Start Year 2016
 
Description BORN IN BRADFORD STUDY, UK 
Organisation Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration started when a new CDF joined us in 2013. He had previously had this collaboration in his previous job. Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts.
Collaborator Contribution Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts.
Impact 23940713
Start Year 2013
 
Description Cardiovascular biomarker Genetics collaboration 
Organisation London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution NSHD data sharing
Collaborator Contribution Analysis and interpretation of NSHD data Contribute to the scientific development of the collaboration Preparation of research papers
Impact Angelakopoulo PMID 21804106
Start Year 2012
 
Description Collaboration with TC Institute of Child Health 
Organisation University College London
Department Institute of Child Health
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are collaborating on a recently obtained grant developing and applying the SITAR method of growth curve analysis for translational exposures and life course outcomes in human growth assessment. We initially plan to relate the derived parameters to genetic obesity-risk-allele scores and subsequently to health outcomes. Providing NSHD data and expertise Help with drafting and revision of papers.
Collaborator Contribution Data analysis, interpretation, drafting and revision of papers. Providing methodological expertise.
Impact Funding for grant application - Developing and applying the SITAR method of growth curve analysis for translational exposures and life course outcomes in human growth assessment.
Start Year 2012
 
Description ESCAPE 
Organisation Utrecht University
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provide NSHD and epidemiological experitise
Collaborator Contribution Prof Bert Brunkekfreef leads a FP7 collaboration qith 25 collaborating groups. Enhancing NSHD with geocoding of residential histories and linking them to ari polution levels.
Impact Enhancing NSHD with contextual data from geocoding. Adams et al PMID: 25193994 Schikowski et al PMID: 24488569 Cai et al PMID: 25112730
Start Year 2008
 
Description FALCon - Function Across the Life Course 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC)
Department MRC Social & Public Health Sciences Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Rebecca Hardy is PI on this PHSRN funded project "Measurement and Modelling of Function Across teh Life Course". Diana Kuh is a co-investigator and LHA has a scientist funded by this project. LHA leads on the measurement aspect of the project, leading a systematic review and analysis of multiple datasets. MRC Biostatistics scientist regularly visits LHA to discuss more complex modelling where she is supervised by rebecca Hardy.
Collaborator Contribution FALCon investigator. Lead the modelling component of FALConFALCon InvestigatorFALCon InvestigatorFALCon Investigator
Impact Two abstracts. Two systematic review papers submitted. Other papers in preparation
Start Year 2008
 
Description FALCon - Function Across the Life Course 
Organisation University of Bristol
Department MRC Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Rebecca Hardy is PI on this PHSRN funded project "Measurement and Modelling of Function Across teh Life Course". Diana Kuh is a co-investigator and LHA has a scientist funded by this project. LHA leads on the measurement aspect of the project, leading a systematic review and analysis of multiple datasets. MRC Biostatistics scientist regularly visits LHA to discuss more complex modelling where she is supervised by rebecca Hardy.
Collaborator Contribution FALCon investigator. Lead the modelling component of FALConFALCon InvestigatorFALCon InvestigatorFALCon Investigator
Impact Two abstracts. Two systematic review papers submitted. Other papers in preparation
Start Year 2008
 
Description FALCon - Function Across the Life Course 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department MRC Biostatistics Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Rebecca Hardy is PI on this PHSRN funded project "Measurement and Modelling of Function Across teh Life Course". Diana Kuh is a co-investigator and LHA has a scientist funded by this project. LHA leads on the measurement aspect of the project, leading a systematic review and analysis of multiple datasets. MRC Biostatistics scientist regularly visits LHA to discuss more complex modelling where she is supervised by rebecca Hardy.
Collaborator Contribution FALCon investigator. Lead the modelling component of FALConFALCon InvestigatorFALCon InvestigatorFALCon Investigator
Impact Two abstracts. Two systematic review papers submitted. Other papers in preparation
Start Year 2008
 
Description FALCon - Function Across the Life Course 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department MRC Epidemiology Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Rebecca Hardy is PI on this PHSRN funded project "Measurement and Modelling of Function Across teh Life Course". Diana Kuh is a co-investigator and LHA has a scientist funded by this project. LHA leads on the measurement aspect of the project, leading a systematic review and analysis of multiple datasets. MRC Biostatistics scientist regularly visits LHA to discuss more complex modelling where she is supervised by rebecca Hardy.
Collaborator Contribution FALCon investigator. Lead the modelling component of FALConFALCon InvestigatorFALCon InvestigatorFALCon Investigator
Impact Two abstracts. Two systematic review papers submitted. Other papers in preparation
Start Year 2008
 
Description FELS LONGITUDINAL STUDY, USA 
Organisation University of Minnesota
Department Division of Epidemiology and Community Health
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution One of our CDFs collaborates with Minnesota to work on research projects using the Fels Longitudinal Study. The CDF used to work at Minnesota and this collaboration has continued since moving to the UK and starting work at the Unit. Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts.
Collaborator Contribution Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts.
Impact 23794238 23719556 24081233 23606227
Start Year 2013
 
Description HALCyon 
Organisation Cardiff University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LHA is responsible for managing the HALCyon grant and also organising conferences and meetings for researchers. NSHD data sharing and epideomiological expertise is also provided.
Collaborator Contribution Provided data and research guidance
Impact numerous papers including 23437142
Start Year 2008
 
Description HALCyon 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC)
Department MRC Human Nutrition Research Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LHA is responsible for managing the HALCyon grant and also organising conferences and meetings for researchers. NSHD data sharing and epideomiological expertise is also provided.
Collaborator Contribution Provided data and research guidance
Impact numerous papers including 23437142
Start Year 2008
 
Description HALCyon 
Organisation Newcastle University
Department Institute for Ageing and Health
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LHA is responsible for managing the HALCyon grant and also organising conferences and meetings for researchers. NSHD data sharing and epideomiological expertise is also provided.
Collaborator Contribution Provided data and research guidance
Impact numerous papers including 23437142
Start Year 2008
 
Description HALCyon 
Organisation University College London
Department Institute of Education (IOE)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LHA is responsible for managing the HALCyon grant and also organising conferences and meetings for researchers. NSHD data sharing and epideomiological expertise is also provided.
Collaborator Contribution Provided data and research guidance
Impact numerous papers including 23437142
Start Year 2008
 
Description HALCyon 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LHA is responsible for managing the HALCyon grant and also organising conferences and meetings for researchers. NSHD data sharing and epideomiological expertise is also provided.
Collaborator Contribution Provided data and research guidance
Impact numerous papers including 23437142
Start Year 2008
 
Description HALCyon 
Organisation University of Aberdeen
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LHA is responsible for managing the HALCyon grant and also organising conferences and meetings for researchers. NSHD data sharing and epideomiological expertise is also provided.
Collaborator Contribution Provided data and research guidance
Impact numerous papers including 23437142
Start Year 2008
 
Description HALCyon 
Organisation University of Bristol
Department School of Social and Community Medicine
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LHA is responsible for managing the HALCyon grant and also organising conferences and meetings for researchers. NSHD data sharing and epideomiological expertise is also provided.
Collaborator Contribution Provided data and research guidance
Impact numerous papers including 23437142
Start Year 2008
 
Description HALCyon 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LHA is responsible for managing the HALCyon grant and also organising conferences and meetings for researchers. NSHD data sharing and epideomiological expertise is also provided.
Collaborator Contribution Provided data and research guidance
Impact numerous papers including 23437142
Start Year 2008
 
Description HALCyon 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LHA is responsible for managing the HALCyon grant and also organising conferences and meetings for researchers. NSHD data sharing and epideomiological expertise is also provided.
Collaborator Contribution Provided data and research guidance
Impact numerous papers including 23437142
Start Year 2008
 
Description HALCyon 
Organisation University of Portsmouth
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LHA is responsible for managing the HALCyon grant and also organising conferences and meetings for researchers. NSHD data sharing and epideomiological expertise is also provided.
Collaborator Contribution Provided data and research guidance
Impact numerous papers including 23437142
Start Year 2008
 
Description HALCyon 
Organisation University of Southampton
Department MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LHA is responsible for managing the HALCyon grant and also organising conferences and meetings for researchers. NSHD data sharing and epideomiological expertise is also provided.
Collaborator Contribution Provided data and research guidance
Impact numerous papers including 23437142
Start Year 2008
 
Description INTERNATIONAL HEALTH INSTITUTE, BROWN UNIVERSITY, USA. 
Organisation Brown University
Department International Health Institute
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration started when a new CDF joined us in 2013. He had previously had this collaboration in his previous job. Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts.
Collaborator Contribution Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts.
Impact None to report this year
Start Year 2013
 
Description Infant Feeding Study collaboration 
Organisation University College London
Department Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborated on research papers. Provide expertise and advise on manuscripts
Collaborator Contribution Data analysis and creation of manuscripts
Impact Research publications
 
Description Interleukin-6 Receptor Mendelian Randomisation Analysis (IL6R MR) Consortium 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution UCL is the main partner for this collaboration NSHD data sharing, revision of manuscripts
Collaborator Contribution Analysis and interpretation of NSHD (and other) data Contribute to the scientific development of the collaboration Preparation of research papers
Impact PMID 22421340
Start Year 2011
 
Description SABRE collaboration - genetic and epigenetic characterisation 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Enhancing and extending characterisation of the SABRE cohort Sharing of NSHD data and epidemiological expertise Member of Executive Group - provide advice as required Help with preparation of manuscripts
Collaborator Contribution We aim to explain ethnic differences in susceptibility to cardiometabolic disease. Enhancing and extending characterisation of the SABRE cohort Data analysis and intepretation Manuscript preparation and submission
Impact Submission of a grant application Grant application funded
Start Year 2012
 
Description Spirometa genentic collaboration 
Organisation University of Leicester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Data sharing, genotyping and analysis
Collaborator Contribution Martin Tobin led the spirometa consortium to investigate the genetics of lung function
Impact 21946350 21965014 20010834
Start Year 2009
 
Description leap 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LHA scientists are co-supervising an Imperial student investigating the effects of air polution on cardiovascualr morbidity in NSHD.
Impact Enhancing NSHD by creating residential histories for study members and linking these data to air polution data publications eventually.
Start Year 2009
 
Description Article in The Daily Mail - Dieting and being overweight 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article in The Daily Mail explaining the results of a paper looking at being overweight and dieting, and whether you can sustain weight loss.

Increasing awareness of NSHD findings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Article in The Telegraph - Dieting and being overweight 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article in the Telegraph explaining the results of a paper looking at being overweight and dieting, and whether you can sustain weight loss.

Increasing awareness of NSHD findings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Article on zeenews.com - Dieting and being overweight 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article on online publication explaining the results of a paper looking at being overweight and dieting, and whether you can sustain weight loss.

Increasing awareness of NSHD findings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description HALCYon Project Summary Brochure 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A plain english brochure was created which summarised the main findings from the HALCyon research programme. It has been disseminated to study members, on our website and the New Dynamics of Ageing website and at conferences.

Increased awareness of the findings from the HALCyon programme and the cohorts that were used within this research programme
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description HALCYon book launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact A book launch was arranged to promote the findings from the HALCyon research programme

Shared knowledge of the HALCyon findings which were published in a book 'A life course approach to healthy ageing'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description MRC Festival of Medical Research Exhibition 70 years of... 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The activty showcased the history of the cohorts birthday cards as well as old letters from the study and how data used to be presented. The work was presented in a gallery space in collaboration with an art student from the Univerisyt of the arts as well as the president of the UCL medical and arts society. The idea was to create an art exhibition using historical items from the study
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Media coverage of paper on psychological interventions in ICU 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Media coverage surrounding UCL researchers at University College Hospital's intensive care unit has suggested that psychological interventions could reduce the mental health problems experienced by many patients. PMID 23068129

Promotion of research findings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description NDA findings brochure 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The New Dynamics of Ageing programme which funded the HALCyon programme created a findings document summerising the results of the HALCyon programme which was distributed to their local networks

Increased awareness of the HALCyon findings and a life course approach to healthy ageing. Increased awareness of longitudinal studies and the cohorts that were involved in HALCyon
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014