We use long-term follow-up studies to explore how the risk of cardiovascular, metabolic and respiratory diseases may be influenced by lifestyle, environmental exposures and life events from childhood through to late adulthood.
The long view
Collaborative studies have been developed in the national 1946 and 1958 birth cohorts and in the British Regional Heart Study, for which Professor Peter Whincup is clinical director. In combination, these resources allow us to investigate ill health associations throughout the life course.
Recent studies have investigated the relationships of cardiovascular risk with obesity and weight gain at different ages, and with socioeconomic position in childhood and adult life.
Early growth and development
Through systematic reviews, we previously evaluated the influence of birth weight and infant feeding on markers of cardiovascular risk in middle-age. The relationship between birth weight and measures of obesity and risk of diabetes in childhood has been a recent focus in the CHASE study of local children from different ethnic groups.
Genes and environment
Through a large number of international collaborations, genetic data from the British 1958 birth cohort has been collated and analysed in our institute. This data has contributed to many genome-wide association studies over the last decade.
Interactions are being explored between genetic variants and non-genetic exposures such as smoking and environmental agents, with particular emphasis on respiratory and allergic disease outcomes.
Major life events
Electronic databases of consultations in primary care have been used to demonstrate short-term influences of life events such as bereavement on risk of cardiovascular disease in adults.
Projects and publications
Recently funded projects
|Title||Funded by||Principal investigator or lead at St George's|
|Adiposity over the life-course and risks of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, mobility limitation and healthy survival in older men||British Heart Foundation||Professor Christopher Owen|
|Pathways to prevention and prediction of cardiovascular disease and associated disability in older men: the British Regional Heart Study||British Heart Foundation||Professor Peter Whincup|
Novel cardiovascular risk markers: early outcomes and determinants in the National Survey of Health and Development
|Medical Research Council||Professor Peter Whincup|
South London CLAHRC: Diabetes Theme
|National Institute for Health Research||Professor Peter Whincup|
UK Biobank Lung Exome Variant Evaluation (UK BiLEVE)
|Medical Research Council||Professor David Strachan|
Automated retinal microvascular quantification as a predictor of cardiovascular disease risk in later life. Funded by the Medical Research Council. PI: Christopher Owen.
|Medical Research Council||Professor Christopher Owen|
Selected recent publications
Jones R, Hardy R, Sattar N, Deanfield JE, Hughes A, Kuh D, Murray ET, Whincup PH, Thomas C. Novel coronary heart disease risk factors at 60-64 years and life course socioeconomic position: The 1946 British birth cohort. Atherosclerosis 2014;238:70-76.
Kapetanakis VV, Rudnicka AR, Wathern AK, Lennon L, Papacosta O, Cook DG, Wannamethee SG, Whincup PH, Owen CG. Adiposity in early, middle and later adult life and cardiometabolic risk markers in later life; findings from the British Regional Heart Study. PLoS One 2014;9:e114289.
Nightingale CM, Rudnicka AR, Owen CG, Newton SL, Bales JL, Donin AS, McKay CM, Steer PJ, Lawlor DA, Sattar N, Cook DG, Whincup PH. Birthweight and risk markers for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in childhood: the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE). Diabetologia 2015;58:474-84.
Smit LA, Strachan DP, Vermeulen R, de Bakker PI, Demenais F, Dumas O, Carsin AE, Cullinan P, Curjuric I, Ghosh RE, Heederik D, Imboden M, Jarvis D, Lathrop M, Le Moual N, Mehta A, Miedinger D, Sigsgaard T, Siroux V, Vernez D, Zock JP, Kauffmann F, Probst-Hensch N, Kogevinas M, Bouzigon E. Human leukocyte antigen class II variants and adult-onset asthma: does occupational allergen exposure play a role? Eur Respir J 2014;44:1234-42.
Carey IM, Shah SM, DeWilde S, Harris T, Victor CR, Cook DG. Increased risk of acute cardiovascular events after partner bereavement: a matched cohort study. JAMA Intern Med 2014;174:598-605.