The latest list of publications from the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre with a brief summary.
If you are publishing research which has had funding and / or support from the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, please complete this form.View publication
Publication: BMJ Open
Christian Philip Stickels, Ramesh Nadarajah, Chris P Gale, Houyuan Jiang, Kieran J Sharkey, Ben Gibbison, Nick Holliman, Sara Lombardo, Lars Schewe, Matteo Sommacal, Louise Sun, Jonathan Weir-McCall, Katherine Cheema, James H F Rudd, Mamas Mamas, Feryal Erhun
17 June 2022
An international team of researchers has modelled the impact that increasing treatment capacity and using a quicker, less invasive treatment option would have on waiting lists. Even in the best-case scenario, they found that the waiting list would take nearly a year to clear.
The traditional treatment for aortic stenosis involves replacing the narrowed valve, most commonly through open heart surgery (a surgical aortic valve replacement, SAVR). However, a newer keyhole procedure called a transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is increasingly being used and is now recommended for patients aged 75 and over.
The researchers investigated the impact that increasing treatment capacity and converting a proportion of operations to the quicker TAVI procedure would have on the backlog. They looked at how long it would take to clear the backlog and found that the best and most achievable option involved a combination of increasing capacity by 20 per cent and converting 40 per cent of procedures from SAVR to TAVI. This would clear the backlog within 343 days with 784 deaths while people wait for treatment. Read the full story.View publication
Roma Siugzdaite, Danyal Akarca, Amy Johnson, Sofia Carozza, Alexander L Anwyl-Irvine, Stepheni Uh, Tess Smith, Giacomo Bignardi, Edwin Dalmaijer, Duncan E. Astle
10 June 2022
The quality of a child’s social and physical environment is a key influence on brain development, educational attainment and mental wellbeing. However, there still remains a mechanistic gap in our understanding of how environmental influences converge on changes in the brain’s developmental trajectory. In a sample of 145 children with structural diffusion tensor imaging data, researchers used generative network modelling to simulate the emergence of whole brain network organisation.View publication
Estimating dose-response relationships for vitamin D with coronary heart disease, stroke, and all-cause mortality: observational and Mendelian randomisation analyses
Publication: The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology
Nick Wareham, Nita Forouhi
27 October 2021
Randomised trials of vitamin D supplementation for cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality have generally reported null findings. However, generalisability of results to individuals with low vitamin D status is unclear. Researcgers aimed to characterise dose-response relationships between 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations and risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and all-cause mortality in observational and Mendelian randomisation frameworks.View publication
Placental uptake and metabolism of 25(OH)vitamin D determine its activity within the fetoplacental unit
Brogan Ashley, Claire Simner, Antigoni Manousopoulou, Carl Jenkinson, Felicity Hey, Jennifer M Frost, Faisal I Rezwan, Cory H White, Emma M Lofthouse, Emily Hyde, Laura DF Cooke, Sheila Barton, Pamela Mahon, Elizabeth M Curtis, Rebecca J Moon, Sarah R Crozier, Hazel M Inskip, Keith M Godfrey, John W Holloway, Cyrus Cooper, Kerry S Jones, Rohan M Lewis, Martin Hewison, Spiros DD Garbis, Miguel R Branco, Nicholas C Harvey, Jane K Cleal
8 March 2022
This is the first quantitative study demonstrating vitamin D transfer and metabolism by the human placenta, with widespread effects on the placenta itself.View publication
Patient and public involvement to build trust in artificial intelligence: A framework, tools, and case studies.
Publication: Patterns 3: 100506.
Soumya Banerjee, Phil Alsop, Linda Jones, Rudolf N. Cardinal
10 June 2022
Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly taking on a greater role in healthcare. However, hype and negative news reports about AI abound. Integrating patient and public involvement (PPI) in healthcare AI projects may help in adoption and acceptance of these technologies. Researchers argue that AI algorithms should also be co-designed with patients and healthcare workers. They specifically suggest (1) including patients with lived experience of the disease, and (2) creating a research advisory group (RAG) and using these group meetings to walk patients through the process of AI model building, starting with simple (e.g., linear) models.View publication
Distinct infant feeding type-specific plasma metabolites at age 3 months associate with body composition at 2 years
Publication: Clinical Nutrition
Inge A.L.P. van Beijsterveldt, Pernille Neve Myers, Stuart G. Snowden, Ken K. Ong, Susanne Brix, Anita C.S. Hokken-Koelega, Albert Koulman
21 April 2022
Early life is a critical window for adiposity programming and metabolic profile may affect this programming. Researchers investigated if plasma metabolites at age 3 months were associated with fat mass, fat free mass and abdominal subcutaneous and visceral fat outcomes at age 2 years in a cohort of healthy infants and if these associations were different between infants receiving exclusive breastfeeding and those with exclusive formula feeding.View publication
Association of Accelerometer‐Measured Sedentary Accumulation Patterns With Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and All‐Cause Mortality
Publication: Journal of the American Heart Association
Paddy C. Dempsey, Tessa Strain, Elisabeth A. H. Winkler, Kate Westgate, Kirsten L. Rennie, Nicholas J. Wareham, Soren Brage, Katrien Wijndaele
26 April 2022
Emerging evidence suggests accruing sedentary behavior in relatively more prolonged periods may convey additional cardiometabolic risks, but few studies have examined prospective outcomes. Researchers examined the association of sedentary behavior accumulation patterns with incident cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all‐cause mortality.
Data Resource Profile: United Kingdom National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme (2008-19)
Publication: International Journal of Epidemiology
Michelle Venables, Caireen Roberts, Kerry Jones, Anila Farooq, Albert Koulman, Nick Wareham, Polly Page
28 May 2022
Since 2008, the Government in the United Kingdom has funded a large, annual survey called the National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme (NDNS RP) to collect detailed information from people on the foods they are eating and their nutritional health.
The survey is used to monitor how well the UK population is doing in terms of dietary guidelines and inform the development of new nutrition policies. It is also used to monitor chemical exposure risk to protect food safety. In this NIHR Cambridge BRC paper, the authors have provided easy access to comprehensive information about the NDNS for the academic and wider public health community.
The paper describes the data collected in the first 11 years of the NDNS RP, how it has been used, and demonstrates the scope of publicly available data. The authors present an overview of survey methods to collect and analyse the data.
Between 2008 and 2019, 7999 adults and 7656 children completed food diaries; 4181 adults and 2014 children had a blood sample taken; 3246 adults and 2318 children gave a urine sample and 419 adults and 352 children had their energy expenditure measured. The authors explain how NDNS survey reports and data provide information on the foods, calories and nutrients such as fat, sugar and vitamins consumed by the UK population, and how Government use these data in public health campaigns such as the Change4Life, 5 A DAY and sugar reduction and folate fortification policies.
They also highlight that many other institutions and individuals use the survey including international organisations like the World Health Organisation. Reports are published regularly by Government: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-diet-and-nutrition-survey. Anonymised individual data can be accessed from the Data Service and stored blood and urine samples are available for further research via the NDNS Bioresource.
The NDNS RP provides a unique and valuable publicly available resource for the UK Government, researchers, health professionals and others looking to understand and improve population health and nutrition.View publication
Publication: Nature Neuroscience
Andrea I. Luppi, Pedro A. M. Mediano, Fernando E. Rosas, Negin Holland, Tim D. Fryer, John T. O’Brien, James B. Rowe, David K. Menon, Daniel Bor & Emmanuel A. Stamatakis
26 May 2022
Researchers investigated functional interactions between brain regions into synergistic and redundant components, revealing their information-processing roles.View publication
Refinements and considerations for trio whole-genome sequence analysis when investigating Mendelian diseases presenting in early childhood
Publication: HGG Advances
Courtney E. French, Helen Dolling, Karyn Mégy, Alba Sanchis-Juan, Ajay Kumar, Isabelle Delon, Matthew Wakeling, Lucy Mallin, Shruti, Agrawal, Topun Austin, Florence Walston, Soo-Mi Park, Alasdair, Parker, Chinthika Piyasena, Kimberley Bradbury, Sian Ellard, David H.Rowitch, LucyRaymond
24 May 2022
More than a third of severely sick babies referred for rapid whole genome sequencing received a vital genetic diagnosis. Results from the latest Cambridge genomic study supported by NIHR Cambridge BRC and NIHR BioResource, confirm rapid whole genome sequencing (WGS) as an effective early test to aid diagnosis in severely ill children. Read the full story.View publication
Effects of Limiting Recreational Screen Media Use on Physical Activity and Sleep in Families With Children: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial
Publication: JAMA Pediatrics
23 May 2022
This was a randomised controlled trial examining the effect of restricting screen use in 89 families living in Denmark. Children in intervention families reduced their objectively measured sedentary time by 45 min/day, which was significantly more than the 1 min/day increase observed in children from control families.View publication
The development, validation and application of remote blood sample collection in telehealth programmes
Publication: Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Albert Koulman, Kirsten L Rennie, Damon Parkington, Nicholas J Wareham
10 May 2022
The ability to collect a blood sample painlessly from people at home without the need of a healthcare worker visit could transform the way healthcare and health research are conducted. We demonstrated that a new device (OneDraw) could be successfully used by people in their own homes to collect a dried blood spot sample and be posted back using the normal postage system to the laboratory.
After demonstrating the method worked, it was used in the Fenland COVID-19 study where 10,647 samples were collected every 3-months in over 3,000 participants to measure whether COVID-19 antibodies were present in the blood. This was used to calculate the proportion of participants who had a past COVID-19 infection, with or without symptoms. A high proportion of participants were able to collect their own blood samples (89-93% at each timepoint) and almost all samples received were successfully processed (99.9%).
The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly increased the adoption of “telehealth” where people communicate online and via the telephone with their healthcare teams and in health research. However, the gap has been how to collect blood samples remotely. During the early phases of the pandemic when home visits were not possible, the only feasible option was for people to take their own blood sample. This usually involves pricking a finger with a lancet and dropping blood onto special paper or into a blood tube. However, many people find this painful and the sample cannot always be reliably used for analysis due to contamination or insufficient blood sample.
This study showed that dried blood spot samples from the OneDraw device produced comparable results for assessing COVID-19 antibodies as standard blood samples taken by a needle in the arm by a trained healthcare worker. Participants also preferred the OneDraw device to the other methods and reported lower pain scores. Due to its ease of use and acceptability, the OneDraw device will be particularly useful for future telehealth applications, for example where people cannot travel to a clinical centre and repeat blood samples may be needed.View publication
Multivariate profile and acute-phase correlates of cognitive deficits in a COVID-19 hospitalised cohort
Adam Hampshire, Doris A. Chatfield, Anne Manktelow, Amy Jolly, William Trender, Peter J. Hellyer, Martina Del Giovane, Virginia F.J. Newcombe, Joanne G. Outtrim, Ben Warne, Junaid Bhatti, Linda Pointon, Anne Elmer, Nyarie Sithole, John Bradley, Nathalie Kingston, Stephen J.Sawcer, Edward T. Bullmore, David K.Menon
3 May 2022
Cognitive impairment as a result of severe COVID-19 is similar to that sustained between 50 and 70 years of age and is the equivalent to losing 10 IQ points. The results of the study suggest the effects are still detectable more than six months after the acute illness, and that any recovery is at best gradual. Read the full storyView publication
Dysregulation of macrophage PEPD in obesity determines adipose tissue fibro-inflammation and insulin resistance
V. Pellegrinelli, S. Rodriguez-Cuenca, C. Rouault, E. Figueroa-Juarez, H. Schilbert, S. Virtue, J. M. Moreno-Navarrete, G. Bidault, M. C. Vázquez-Borrego, A. R. Dias, B. Pucker, M. Dale, M. Campbell, S. Carobbio, Y. H. Lin, M. Vacca, J. Aron-Wisnewsky, S. Mora, M. M. Masiero, A. Emmanouilidou, S. Mukhopadhyay, G. Dougan, M. den Hoed, R. J. F. Loos, J. M. Fernández-Real, D. Chiarugi, K. Clément & A. Vidal-Puig
25 April 2022
New research shows that an enzyme produced by macrophages (immune system cells) in fat tissue plays an essential role in the loss of metabolic health in people with obesity and might serve as a biomarker to help us identify those at the highest risk of fibrosis, inflammation and insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes associated with obesity. It also identifies a potential target for drugs that might prevent or reverse metabolic disease and could throw light on a long-unexplained paradox. Read more.View publication
The NHS England 100,000 Genomes Project – Feasibility and utility of centralised genome sequencing for children with cancer
Publication: British Journal of Cancer
Jamie Trotman, Ruth Armstrong, Helen Firth, Claire Trayers, James Watkins, Kieren Allinson, James C. Nicholson, G. A. Amos Burke, Sam Behjati, Matthew J. Murray, Catherine E. Hook, Patrick Tarpey
22 April 2022
As part of the national 100,000 Genome Project, researchers recruited from 36 children, across 23 different solid tumour types. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) data from paired tumour (fresh-frozen tissue) and matched normal (blood) samples was analysed. The results for each case were clinically reviewed at the Cambridge paediatric oncology Genomic Tumour Advisory Board (GTAB), and formal report of the results was written.View publication
Publication: JAMA Psychiatry
13 April 2022
Depression is a disorder characterised by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities. It is the leading cause of mental health-related disease burden, affecting approximately 1 in 20 adults worldwide. Reviews of the scientific evidence have shown that depression may be prevented by physical activity, but the benefits at different levels of activity are unclear.
The aim of this study was to combine results from previously published studies to estimate the association between different levels of physical activity and depression. We searched medical databases for studies including at least 3000 adults published up until 12th November 2020. The studies had to report the risk of developing depression for at least three different levels of physical activity.
We included studies irrespective of how they measured physical activity. We standardised these measures to a common format so that the published results could be analysed together and make sense on the same physical activity scale. We estimated what proportion of depression cases would have been avoided if all adults in the studies met the current physical activity recommendations. We included 15 studies with 191,130 participants and found that even small doses of physical activity appeared to substantially lower risks of depression. Adults meeting physical activity recommendations (equivalent to 2.5 hrs/week of brisk walking) had 25% lower risk of depression compared with adults reporting no physical activity.
Our findings suggested that most benefits occurred when moving from no activity to at least some, and that only minor additional benefits were achieved by further increasing activity levels. Approximately 1 in 9 cases of depression might have been prevented if everybody in the population was active at the level of current health recommendations.View publication
Public opinion on sharing data from health services for clinical and research purposes without explicit consent: an anonymous online survey in the UK
Publication: BMJ Open
Linda A Jones, Jenny R Nelder, Joseph M Fryer, Philip H Alsop, Michael R Geary, Mark Prince, Rudolf N Cardinal
13 April 2022
Researchers have published results from a national survey of public opinion on sharing health data to support clinical care and research. Nearly 30,000 people took part in the anonymous survey online from February to September 2020, which was open to all UK residents to measure people’s opinions on health data and consent.View publication
Physical activity attenuates but does not eliminate coronary heart disease risk amongst adults with risk factors: EPIC-CVD case-cohort study
Publication: European Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Nita Forouhi, Soren Brage, Nick Wareham
11 April 2022
This study aimed to evaluate the association between physical activity and the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in individuals with and without CHD risk factors. In people with CHD risk factors, moderate physical activity, equivalent to 40 mins of walking per day, attenuates but does not completely offset CHD risk.View publication
R. A. I. Bethlehem, J. Seidlitz, S. R. White, J. W. Vogel, K. M. Anderson, C. Adamson, S. Adler, G. S. Alexopoulos, E. Anagnostou, A. Areces-Gonzalez, D. E. Astle, B. Auyeung, M. Ayub, J. Bae, G. Ball, S. Baron-Cohen, R. Beare, S. A. Bedford, V. Benegal, F. Beyer, J. Blangero, M. Blesa Cábez, J. P. Boardman, M. Borzage, J. F. Bosch-Bayard, N. Bourke, V. D. Calhoun, M. M. Chakravarty, C. Chen, C. Chertavian, G. Chetelat, Y. S. Chong, J. H. Cole, A. Corvin, M. Costantino, E. Courchesne, F. Crivello, V. L. Cropley, J. Crosbie, N. Crossley, M. Delarue, R. Delorme, S. Desrivieres, G. A. Devenyi, M. A. Di Biase, R. Dolan, K. A. Donald, G. Donohoe, K. Dunlop, A. D. Edwards, J. T. Elison, C. T. Ellis, J. A. Elman, L. Eyler, D. A. Fair, E. Feczko, P. C. Fletcher, P. Fonagy, C. E. Franz, L. Galan-Garcia, A. Gholipour, J. Giedd, J. H. Gilmore, D. C. Glahn, I. M. Goodyer, P. E. Grant, N. A. Groenewold, F. M. Gunning, R. E. Gur, R. C. Gur, C. F. Hammill, O. Hansson, T. Hedden, A. Heinz, R. N. Henson, K. Heuer, J. Hoare, B. Holla, A. J. Holmes, R. Holt, H. Huang, K. Im, J. Ipser, C. R. Jack Jr, A. P. Jackowski, T. Jia, K. A. Johnson, P. B. Jones, D. T. Jones, R. S. Kahn, H. Karlsson, L. Karlsson, R. Kawashima, E. A. Kelley, S. Kern, K. W. Kim, M. G. Kitzbichler, W. S. Kremen, F. Lalonde, B. Landeau, S. Lee, J. Lerch, J. D. Lewis, J. Li, W. Liao, C. Liston, M. V. Lombardo, J. Lv, C. Lynch, T. T. Mallard, M. Marcelis, R. D. Markello, S. R. Mathias, B. Mazoyer, P. McGuire, M. J. Meaney, A. Mechelli, N. Medic, B. Misic, S. E. Morgan, D. Mothersill, J. Nigg, M. Q. W. Ong, C. Ortinau, R. Ossenkoppele, M. Ouyang, L. Palaniyappan, L. Paly, P. M. Pan, C. Pantelis, M. M. Park, T. Paus, Z. Pausova, D. Paz-Linares, A. Pichet Binette, K. Pierce, X. Qian, J. Qiu, A. Qiu, A. Raznahan, T. Rittman, A. Rodrigue, C. K. Rollins, R. Romero-Garcia, L. Ronan, M. D. Rosenberg, D. H. Rowitch, G. A. Salum, T. D. Satterthwaite, H. L. Schaare, R. J. Schachar, A. P. Schultz, G. Schumann, M. Schöll, D. Sharp, R. T. Shinohara, I. Skoog, C. D. Smyser, R. A. Sperling, D. J. Stein, A. Stolicyn, J. Suckling, G. Sullivan, Y. Taki, B. Thyreau, R. Toro, N. Traut, K. A. Tsvetanov, N. B. Turk-Browne, J. J. Tuulari, C. Tzourio, É. Vachon-Presseau, M. J. Valdes-Sosa, P. A. Valdes-Sosa, S. L. Valk, T. van Amelsvoort, S. N. Vandekar, L. Vasung, L. W. Victoria, S. Villeneuve, A. Villringer, P. E. Vértes, K. Wagstyl, Y. S. Wang, S. K. Warfield, V. Warrier, E. Westman, M. L. Westwater, H. C. Whalley, A. V. Witte, N. Yang, B. Yeo, H. Yun, A. Zalesky, H. J. Zar, A. Zettergren, J. H. Zhou, H. Ziauddeen, A. Zugman, X. N. Zuo, E. T. Bullmore & A. F. Alexander-Bloch
6 April 2022
An international team of researchers has created a series of brain charts spanning our entire lifespan – from a 15 week old fetus to 100 year old adult – that show how our brains expand rapidly in early life and slowly shrink as we age. Read the full story.View publication
Prevalence, progress, and subgroup disparities in pharmacological antidepressant treatment of those who screen positive for depressive disorders: a repetitive cross-sectional study in 19 European countries.
Publication: The Lancet Regional Health
Shanquan Chena, Tamsin J.Ford, Peter B.Jones, Rudolf N.Cardinal
29 March 2022
Public data from two surveys (Health Survey for England, UK; Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) covered 19 European countries across EMHAP phases one (2011–2015) and two (2015–2018). People screening positive for depressive symptoms by self-report were included. The primary outcome was antidepressant use: using country-specific weighted regression models, researchers estimated temporal trends and subgroup disparities in antidepressant receipt, with secondary analysis by country-level measures including healthcare expenditure.View publication