The latest list of publications from the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre with a brief summary. 

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Publication: European Heart Journal

SCORE2 working group and ESC Cardiovascular risk collaboration

13 June 2021


The researchers analysed data from nearly 700,000 mainly middle-aged participants in 45 large-scale studies to develop risk prediction models (SCORE2) tailored for use in European countries.

The participants did not have previous history of CVD at the outset and 30,000 had a CVD event (heart attack or stroke) during the first 10 years of follow up.

These risk models were then statistically adapted or ‘recalibrated’ to more accurately estimate CVD risk for contemporary populations in four European risk regions, using data on population-specific CVD incidence rates and risk factor values from 10.8 million individuals. Read the full story

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Publication: Pediatric Obesity

Laurentya Olga, Inge A. L. P. van Beijsterveldt, Ieuan A. Hughes, David B. Dunger, Ken K. Ong, Anita C. S. Hokken-Koelega, Emanuella De Lucia Rolfe

10 June 2021


Anthropometry-based equations (included weight, height, body mass index etc.) are commonly used to estimate infant body composition. However, existing equations were designed for newborns or adolescents. We aimed to (a) derive new prediction equations in infancy against air-displacement plethysmography (ADP-PEA Pod) as the criterion, (b) validate the newly developed equations in an independent infant cohort and (c) compare them with published equations (Slaughter-1988, Aris-2013, Catalano-1995).

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Publication: Stroke

Segun Fatumo , Ville Karhunen, Tinashe Chikowore, Toure Sounkou , Brenda Udosen, Chisom Ezenwa, Mariam Nakabuye, Opeyemi Soremekun, Iyas Daghlas, David K. Ryan, Amybel Taylor, Amy M. Mason, Scott M. Damrauer, Marijana Vujkovic, Keith L. Keene, Myriam Fornage, Marjo-Riitta Järvelin, Stephen Burgess, Dipender Gill,

3 June 2021


Metabolic traits affect ischemic stroke (IS) risk, but the degree to which this varies across different ethnic ancestries is not known. Our aim was to apply Mendelian randomization to investigate the causal effects of type 2 diabetes (T2D) liability and lipid traits on IS risk in African ancestry individuals, and to compare them to estimates obtained in European ancestry individuals

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Publication: Diabetes Care

Frank Qian  Andres V. Ardisson Korat  Fumiaki Imamura, Matti Marklund, Nathan Tintle, Jyrki K. Virtanen,  Xia Zhou, Julie K. Bassett,  Heidi Lai, Yoichiro Hirakawa, Kuo-Liong Chien, Alexis C. Wood, Maria Lankinen, Rachel A. Murphy, Cecilia Samieri, Kamalita Pertiwi, Vanessa D. de Mello, Weihua Guan, Nita G. Forouhi, Nick Wareham, Frank B. Hu, Ulf Riserus, Lars Lind, William S. Harris, Aladdin H. Shadyab, Jennifer G. Robinson, Lyn M. Steffen, Allison Hodge, Graham G. Giles, Toshiharu Ninomiya, Matti Uusitupa, Jaakko Tuomilehto, Jaana Lindström, Markku Laakso, David S. Siscovick, Catherine Helmer, Johanna M. Geleijnse, Jason H.Y. Wu, Amanda Fretts, Rozenn N. Lemaitre, Renata Micha , Dariush Mozaffarian and Qi Sun

May 2021


Prospective associations between n-3 fatty acid biomarkers and type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk are not consistent in individual studies. We aimed to summarize the prospective associations of biomarkers of α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) with T2D risk through an individual participant-level pooled analysis.

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Publication: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise

Winters-van Eekelen, Esther van der Velde, Jeroen H.P.M. Boone, Sebastiaan C.; Westgate, Kate; Brage, Søren, Lamb, Hildo J, Rosendaal, Frits R. de Mutsert, Renée1

28 May 2021


It remains unclear to what extent habitual physical activity and sedentary time are associated with visceral fat and liver fat.

Researchers studied substitution of sedentary time with time spent physically active and total body fat (TBF), visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and hepatic triglyceride content (HTGC) in middle-aged men and women.

Reallocation of time spent sedentary with time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, but not light physical activity, was associated with less total body fat, and visceral and liver fat. These findings contribute to the development of more specified guidelines on sedentary time and physical activity.

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Publication: Nature

Ekaterina Yonova-Doing, Claudia Calabrese, Aurora Gomez-Duran, Katherine Schon, Wei Wei, Savita Karthikeyan, Patrick F. Chinnery & Joanna M. M. Howson

17 May 2021


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in common diseases has been underexplored, partly due to a lack of genotype calling and quality-control procedures. Developing an at-scale workflow for mtDNA variant analyses, we show correlations between nuclear and mitochondrial genomic structures within subpopulations of Great Britain and establish a UK Biobank reference atlas of mtDNA–phenotype associations.

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Publication: Journal of Obesity

Marie W. Lundblad, Bjarne K. Jacobsen, Jonas Johansson, Emanuella De Lucia Rolfe, Sameline Grimsgaard, and Laila A. Hopstock

17 May 2021


Reference values for visceral adipose tissue (VAT) are needed and it has been advocated that body composition measures depend on both the technique and methods applied, as well as the population of interest.

We aimed to develop reference values for VAT in absolute grams (VATg), percent (VAT%), and as a kilogram-per-meters-squared index (VATindex) for women and men, and investigate potential differences between these measures and their associations with cardiometabolic risk factors (including metabolic syndrome (MetS).

These VAT reference values and thresholds, developed in a sample of adults of Norwegian origin, could be applied to other studies with similar populations using the same DXA device and protocols. The associations between VAT and cardiometabolic risk factors were similar across different measurement units of VAT.


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Publication: Nutrients

Tuck Seng Cheng, Felix R. Day, John R. B. Perry, Jian’an Luan, Claudia Langenberg, Nita G. Forouhi, Nicholas J. Wareham and Ken K. Ong

20 May 2021


Dietary intakes of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids have been inconsistently associated with puberty timing. We examined longitudinal associations of prepubertal dietary and plasma phospholipid saturated fatty acids with several puberty timing traits in boys and girls.

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Publication: Geriatric Psychiatry

Kathy Y. Liu, Robert Howard, Sube Banerjee, Adelina Comas-Herrera, Joanne Goddard, Martin Knapp, Gill Livingston, Jill Manthorpe, John T. O’Brien, Ross W. Paterson, Louise Robinson, Martin Rossor, James B. Rowe, David J. Sharp, Andrew Sommerlad, Aida Suárez-González, Alistair Burns

16 May 2021

In response to a commissioned research update on dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic, a UK-based working group, comprising dementia researchers from a range of fields and disciplines, aimed to describe the impact of the pandemic on dementia wellbeing and identify priorities for future research.

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Publication: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Annie M. Constable, Josie E. Porter, Danielle Benger, Dimitris Vlachopoulos, Alan R. Barker, Sarah A. Moore 3 , Sonja Soininen, Eero A. Haapala, Kate Westgate, Soren Brage, Ricardo R. Agostinete, Romulo A. Fernandes, and Timo A. Lakka

18 May 2021


Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) positively influences bone mineral content (BMC) in prepubertal children, but it is unknown whether this relationship is partially mediated by free leptin index. The aim of this study was to examine whether the relationship between MVPA and total body less head (TBLH) BMC is mediated or moderated by free leptin index in prepubertal children.

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Publication: Journal of Nutrition

Matthew Pearce, Anouar Fanidi, Tom R P Bishop, Stephen J Sharp, Fumiaki Imamura, Stefan Dietrich, Tasnime Akbaraly, Maira Bes-Rastrollo, Joline W J Beulens, Liisa Byberg, Scheine Canhada, Maria del Carmen B Molina, Zhengming Chen, Adrian Cortes-Valencia, Huaidong Du, Bruce B Duncan, Tommi Härkänen, Maryam Hashemian, Jihye Kim, Mi Kyung Kim, Yeonjung Kim, Paul Knekt, Daan Kromhout, Camille Lassale, Ruy Lopez Ridaura, Dianna J Magliano, Reza Malekzadeh, Pedro Marques-Vidal, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, Gráinne O’Donoghue, Donal O’Gorman, Jonathan E Shaw, Sabita S Soedamah-Muthu, Dalia Stern, Alicja Wolk, Hye Won Woo, EPIC-InterAct Consortium, Nicholas J Wareham, Nita G Forouhi

11 May 2021


A healthy diet is one important way to prevent type 2 diabetes. Legumes such as beans, lentils, peas and soy are typically high in dietary fibre, protein, B vitamins, and minerals and have a low glycaemic index.

Legume consumption is promoted as part of a healthy diet in many countries, but research has shown inconsistent and inconclusive findings for any link with type 2 diabetes. Researchers planned to find out the nature of the association between the amount and type of legume consumption and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes over time and in different world regions.

The research included data from 27 existing studies in Europe (Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK), the Americas (Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, USA), Eastern Mediterranean (Iran), and Western Pacific (Australia, China, South Korea).

They used data on more than 800,000 participants, among whom 42,473 participants developed type 2 diabetes over time.

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Publication: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Gallant, J., Chan, K., Green, T., Wieringa, F., Leemaqz, S., Ngik, R., Measelle, J., Baldwin, D., Borath, M., Sophonneary, P., Yelland, L., Hampel, D., Shahab-Ferdows, S., Allen, L., Jones, K., Koulman, A., Parkington, D., Meadows, S., Kroeun, H. and Whitfield, K.

7 April 2021

Infantile beriberi–related mortality is still common in South and Southeast Asia. Interventions to increase maternal thiamine intakes, and thus human milk thiamine, are warranted; however, the required dose remains unknown.

In this study the researchers sought to estimate the dose at which additional maternal intake of oral thiamine no longer meaningfully increased milk thiamine concentrations in infants at 24 wk postpartum, and to investigate the impact of 4 thiamine supplementation doses on milk and blood thiamine status biomarkers.

Healthy mothers were recruited in Kampong Thom, Cambodia. At 2 wk postpartum, women were randomly assigned to consume 1 capsule, containing 0, 1.2 (estimated average requirement), 2.4, or 10 mg of thiamine daily from 2 through 24 weeks postpartum.

Human milk total thiamine concentrations were measured and maternal and infant blood thiamine biomarkers were also assessed.

The results showed that milk thiamine concentrations were significantly higher in all intervention groups compared with the placebo group and did not significantly differ from each other. Furthermore, 1.2 mg/d for 22 weeks was sufficient to increase milk thiamine concentrations to similar levels achieved by higher supplementation doses (2.4 and 10 mg/d), and comparable to those of healthy mothers in regions without beriberi.
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