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

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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: Nature Genetics

Chris Eijsbouts, Tenghao Zheng, Nicholas A. Kennedy, Ferdinando Bonfiglio, Carl A. Anderson, Loukas Moutsianas, Joanne Holliday, Jingchunzi Shi, Suyash Shringarpure, 23andMe Research Team, Alexandru-Ioan Voda, The Bellygenes Initiative, Gianrico Farrugia, Andre Franke, Matthias Hübenthal, Gonçalo Abecasis, Matthew Zawistowski, Anne Heidi Skogholt, Eivind Ness-Jensen, Kristian Hveem, Tõnu Esko, Maris Teder-Laving, Alexandra Zhernakova, Michael Camilleri, Guy Boeckxstaens, Peter J. Whorwell, Robin Spiller, Gil McVean, Mauro D’Amato, Luke Jostins & Miles Parkes

05 November 2021


An international study of more than 50,000 people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has revealed that IBS symptoms may be caused by the same biological processes as conditions such as anxiety.

The research team, including more than 40 institutions showed that overall, heritability of IBS (how much your genes influence the likelihood of developing a particular condition) is quite low, indicating the importance of environmental factors such as diet, stress and patterns of behaviour that may also be shared in the family environment.

However, 6 genetic differences were more common in people with IBS than in controls. Researchers found most of the altered genes appear to have more clear-cut roles in the brain and possibly the nerves which supply the gut, rather than the gut itself.

The team also looked for overlap between susceptibility to IBS and other physical and mental health conditions.  They found that the same genetic make-up that puts people at increased risk of IBS also increases the risk for common mood and anxiety disorders such as anxiety, depression, and neuroticism, as well as insomnia. However,  this doesn’t mean that anxiety causes IBS symptoms or vice versa.

Read the full story. 

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Publication: British Journal of Nutrition

L.E.T. Vissers, I. Sluijs, S. Burgess, N.G. Forouhi,H. Freisling, F. Imamura, T.K. Nilsson, F. Renström, E. Weiderpass, K. Aleksandrova, C.C. Dahm, A. Perez-Cornago, M.B. Schulze, T.Y.N. Tong, D. Aune, C. Bonet, J.M.A. Boer, H. Boeing, M.D. Chirlaque, M.I. Conchi, L. Imaz, S. Jäger, V. Krogh, C. Kyrø, G. Masala,O. Melander, K. Overvad, S. Panico, M.J. Sánches, E. Sonestedt, A. Tjønneland, I. Tzoulaki, W.M.M. Verschuren, E. Riboli, N.J. Wareham, J. Danesh, A.S. Butterworth, Y.T. van der Schouw

21 October 2021

Higher milk intake has been associated with a lower stroke risk, but not with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Residual confounding or reverse causation cannot be excluded. Therefore, we estimated the causal association of milk consumption with stroke and CHD risk through instrumental variable (IV) and gene-outcome analyses.

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Publication: BMJ

Katherine R Schon, Rita Horvath, Wei Wei, Claudia Calabrese, Arianna Tucci, Kristina Ibañez, Thiloka Ratnaike, Robert D S Pitceathly, Enrico Bugiardini, Rosaline Quinlivan, Michael G Hanna, Emma Clement, Emma Ashton, John A Sayer, Paul Brennan, Dragana Josifova, Louise Izatt, Carl Fratter, consultant Victoria Nesbitt, Timothy Barrett, Dominic J McMullen, Audrey Smith, Charulata Deshpande, Sarah F Smithson, Richard Festenstein, Natalie Canham, Mark Caulfield, Henry Houlden, Shamima Rahman, Patrick F Chinnery

4 November 2021


Mitochondrial disorders affect around 1 in 4,300 people and cause progressive, incurable diseases. They are amongst the most common inherited diseases but are difficult for clinicians to diagnose, standard tests can fail to diagnose some patients. A new study has been able to find using WGS can help provide a diagnosis for up to 31% more  patients with a rare genetic disorder which will ultimately help them begin the right treatment pathway.

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Publication: BJPsych Open

Shanquan Chen, Emilio Fernandez-Egea, Peter B. Jones, Jonathan R. Lewis and Rudolf N. Cardinal

2 November 2021


In people with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, an elevated risk of death after COVID-19 infection persists to about 60 days.

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Publication: International Journal of Obesity

Tim Lindsay, Katrien Wijndaele, Kate Westgate, Paddy Dempsey, Tessa Strain, Emanuella De Lucia Rolfe, Nita G. Forouhi, Simon Griffin, Nick J. Wareham & Søren Brage

30 September 2021


Physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) represents the total volume of all physical activity. This can be accumulated as different underlying intensity profiles. Although volume and intensity have been studied in isolation, less is known about their joint association with health. Researchers examined this association with body fatness in a population-based sample of middle-aged British adults.


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Publication: Journal of Neurotrauma

Jeanette Tas, Erta Beqiri, Ruud C. van Kaam, Marek Czosnyka, Joseph Donnelly, Roel H. Haeren, Iwan C.C. van der Horst, Peter J. Hutchinson, Sander M.J. van Kuijk, Analisa L. Liberti, David K. Menon, Cornelia W.E. Hoedemaekers, Bart Depreitere, Peter Smielewski, Geert Meyfroidt, Ari Ercole, and Marcel J.H. Aries

12 October 2021


Managing traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with a cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) near to the cerebral autoregulation (CA)-guided “optimal” CPP (CPPopt) value is associated with improved outcome and might be useful to individualize care, but has never been prospectively evaluated.

This study evaluated the feasibility and safety of CA-guided CPP management in TBI patients requiring intracranial pressure monitoring and therapy (TBIicp patients).

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Publication: ESC Heart Failure

Faye Forsyth, James Brimicombe, Joseph Cheriyan, Duncan Edwards, F. D. Richard Hobbs, Navazh Jalaludeen, Jonathan Mant, Mark Pilling, Rebekah Schiff, Clare J. Taylor,M. Justin Zaman, Christi Deaton

21 September 2021


This paper illustrates the challenges of finding patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) in primary care, and that many patients with likely HFpEF will not have their diagnosis confirmed. Greater awareness of HFpEF in primary care and improved diagnostic pathways are needed.

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Publication: The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology

Christiane Drechsler, Mark J Bolland, Ian Reid, Johann Willeit, Georg Schett, Peter Santer, Reecha Sofat, Julie Taylor, Caroline Dale, Richard L Prince, Yoav Ben-Shlomo, John Gallacher, Gorm B Jensen, Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, Stig Egil Bojesen, Marianne Benn, Anders B Wulff, Signe V Krogh, Louise Lind Schierbeck, Stephen Kaptoge, Nicholas Wareham, Ben Schöttker, Anna Zhu, Bernd Holleczek, Elaine Dennison, Karen Jameson, Stefanie Schulze Schleithoff, Sabine Frisch, Allan Linneberg, Tea Skaaby, Line Lund Kårhus, Renate T de Jongh, Marjolein Visser, Harald Dobnig, Cassianne Robinson-Cohen, David S Siscovick, Bryan R Kestenbaum, Alex McConnachie, Naveed Sattar, David Morrison, Annamari Lundqvist, Peggy M Cawthon, Juan R Albertorio, J Wouter Jukema, Stella Trompet, Patricia Kearney, Marcus Dörr, Henry Völzke, Matthias Nauck, Peggy M Cawthon, Peter Rossing, Frederik Persson, Jukka Marniemi, Victoria Vazquez, Johan Sundström, Ulf Risérus, Karl Michaëlsson, Jonathan Emberson, David Leon, Mika Kivimäki

27 October 2021


Research has shown a link between higher vitamin D levels and lower mortality risk. However, the link was only observed in people who are vitamin D deficient.

Participants were compared based on their genetic make-up, suggest that taking vitamin D supplements will reduce mortality risk for those with low levels of vitamin D.

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Publication: Tropical Medicine and International Health

Sophie E. Kastberg, Helene S. Lund, Emanuella de Lucia-Rolfe, Lydia U. Kaduka, Michael K. Boit, Eva Corpeleijn, Henrik Friis, Sophie Bernard, Martine Paquette, Alexis Baas,

26 October 2021


Liver fat accumulation (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) is associated with obesity, especially abdominal obesity. It is also associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol levels in the blood.  In sub-Saharan Africa, little is known about liver fat accumulation, and the association with obesity levels and risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Researchers studied 750 adults from different ethnic groups in rural and urban Kenya using ultrasound scanning in order to determine liver fat accumulation and its association with cardiovascular disease risk factors.

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Publication: Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease

Michael Barnes, Sarah Brockbank, Ian N Bruce, Coziana Ciurtin, Andrew P. Cop, Michael R. Ehrenstein, Paul Emery, Benjamin A. Fisher, John Isaacs, Ruth Matthews, Iain B. McInnes, Hayley Noble, Ayako Wakatsuki Pedersen, Costantino Pitzalis, Karim Raza, Anthony Rowe, Gemma Simpson, Dominic Stringer, Peter C. Taylor, Brian Tom, Yujie Zhong

21 October 2021

Researchers carried out a longitudinal observational study of newly diagnosed, seropositive rheumatoid arthritis patients from 28 UK centres. Every 3 months over a total of 18 months, clinical and laboratory measures were collected. To understand the progression of the disease it was measured against the 28-joint Disease Activity Score with C-reactive protein (DAS28-CRP) and Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI). Researchers found that collecting biological markers early after diagnosis could help manage the disease.


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Publication: The Lancet Oncology

Elizabeth K Bancroft, Elizabeth C Page, Mark N Brook, Sarah Thomas, Natalie Taylor, Jennifer Pope, Jana McHugh, Ann-Britt Jones, Questa Karlsson, Susan Merson, Kai Ren Ong, Jonathan Hoffman, Camilla Huber, Lovise Maehle, Eli Marie Grindedal, Astrid Stormorken, D Gareth Evans, Jeanette Rothwell, Fiona Lalloo, Angela F Brady, Marion Bartlett, Katie Snape, Helen Hanson, Paul James, Joanne McKinley, Lyon Mascarenhas, Sapna Syngal, Chinedu Ukaegbu, Lucy Side, Tessy Thomas, Julian Barwell, Manuel R Teixeira, Louise Izatt, Mohnish Suri, Finlay A Macrae, Nicola Poplawski,  Rakefet Chen-Shtoyerman, Munaza Ahmed, Hannah Musgrave, Nicola Nicolai, Lynn Greenhalgh,  Carole Brewer, Nicholas Pachter, Allan D Spigelman, Ashraf Azzabi, Brian T Helfand, Dorothy Halliday, Saundra Buys, Teresa Ramon y Cajal, Alan Donaldson, Kathleen A Cooney, Marion Harris, John McGrath, Rosemarie Davidson, Amy Taylor, Peter Cooke, Kathryn Myhill, Matthew Hogben, Neil K Aaronson, Audrey Ardern-Jones, Chris H Bangma,  Elena Castro, David Dearnaley, Alexander Dias, Tim Dudderidge, Diana M Eccles, Kate Green, Jorunn Eyfjord, Alison Falconer, Christopher S Foster, Henrik Gronberg, Freddie C Ha y, Oskar Johannsson, Vincent Khoo, Hans Lilja, Geoffrey J Lindeman, Jan Lubinski, Karol Axcrona, Christos Mikropoulos, Anita V Mitra, Clare Moynihan, Holly Ni Raghallaigh, Gad Rennert, Rebecca Collier, Judith Offman, Zsofia Kote-Jarai, Rosalind A Eeles,

19 October 2021


Lynch syndrome is a rare familial cancer syndrome caused by pathogenic variants in the mismatch repair genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, or PMS2, that cause predisposition to various cancers, predominantly colorectal and endometrial cancer. Data are emerging that pathogenic variants in mismatch repair genes increase the risk of early-onset aggressive prostate cancer. The IMPACT study is prospectively assessing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in men with germline mismatch repair pathogenic variants.

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