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Health of nation study calls on millions to sign up

Researchers are calling on five million UK adults to join what they hope will be one of the biggest studies in the world, to create the most detailed picture ever of the nation's health.

The aim is it to find better ways to prevent, spot and treat illnesses like cancer and dementia early on. It will involve collecting health and genetic data and creating a long-term repository of health information.

Our Future Health is part-funded by government, industry and charities. They hope to get their first set of results in the next few years.

Chairman of the programme, Prof Sir John Bell, said the ambition is to use the results to fundamentally shift the focus of healthcare systems to earlier diagnosis and prevention.

Invitations will go out this autumn to more than three million people in London, West Yorkshire, West Midlands and Greater Manchester. Over time it will be open to all UK adults.

Volunteers will:

  • fill in questionnaires about their lifestyles and any health problems
  • have blood tests for measurements such as blood sugar and cholesterol
  • have their height, weight and blood pressure measured
  • take genetic tests
  • consent to share their NHS records.

According to the plans the information will be used in a number of different ways.

Scientists will collate and combine this information and store it so that people cannot be identified, building up a bank of health and genetic data.

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Source: BBC News, 24 October 2022


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