Proposal summaries

These are research proposals that have been approved by the ALSPAC exec. The titles include a B number which identifies the proposal and the date on which the proposals received ALSPAC exec approval.

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B3898 - ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN CERTAINTY OF COVID-19 INFECTION STATUS AND REPORTING OF LONG COVID SYMPTOMS THE ROLE OF NOCEBO - 25/10/2021

B number: 
B3898
Principal applicant name: 
Catherine Macleod-Hall | Bristol Medical School (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Maddy Dyer, Professor Marcus Munafò
Title of project: 
ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN CERTAINTY OF COVID-19 INFECTION STATUS AND REPORTING OF LONG COVID SYMPTOMS: THE ROLE OF NOCEBO
Proposal summary: 

Some people experience symptoms caused by COVID that last longer than the original infection and these can be severe or disabling (COVID Symptom Study, 2020). This study aims to better understand why some people develop ‘long COVID’ – symptoms lasting longer than four weeks (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2020) – and others do not. We will be comparing long COVID symptoms between those who have had COVID confirmed by a test, and those who believe they have had COVID but have not had a positive test. We will then explore whether this relationship is different between men and women, and between those who reported anxiety and those who didn’t. We hope that this research will help us to understand better whether psychological mechanisms contribute to the development of long COVID.

Impact of research: 
Long COVID is a new phenomenon that is still poorly understood, and a better understanding of the pathogenesis of the syndrome is required to shape future research and therapies. The influence of nocebo and negative expectations will have implications for the communication around diseases by the media and medical profession, particularly those of significant socio-political consequence such as COVID-19.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 8 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 25 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Chronic fatigue, Mental health, Respiratory - asthma, Statistical methods, Mental health Wellbeing Epidemiology Psychology COVID-19 Long COVID

B3904 - Comparison of blood pressure measures for assessing risk of adverse outcomes in pregnancy - 25/10/2021

B number: 
B3904
Principal applicant name: 
Amy Taylor | University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Professor Abigail Fraser
Title of project: 
Comparison of blood pressure measures for assessing risk of adverse outcomes in pregnancy
Proposal summary: 

Blood pressure is routinely measured during pregnancy and is important for determining the risk of experiencing adverse pregnancy outcomes including pre-eclampsia, gestational hypertension, preterm birth, having a small for gestational age baby, and gestational diabetes. There is evidence that measurement early in pregnancy of integrative measures of systolic and diastolic blood pressure may be more important than individual blood pressure measures for predicting which women may go on to experience hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (preeclampsia and gestational hypertension). For example, mean arterial pressure (MAP) calculated as (systolic blood pressure + 2 x diastolic blood pressure)/3 has been shown to be a better predictor of pre-eclampsia than systolic blood pressure (SBP) or diastolic blood pressure (DBP). However, to our knowledge, there have been no direct comparisons of a range of different measures of blood pressure (SBP, DBP, MAP, pulse pressure (PP), mid blood pressure) on all of these adverse pregnancy outcome (APO) subtypes at a the same timepoint early in pregnancy. This research aims to look at which measures/derived measures of blood pressure best predict pre-eclampsia, gestational hypertension, preterm birth, small for gestational age (SGA) and gestational diabetes.

Impact of research: 
A direct comparison of blood pressure measures taken at the same time during pregnancy should give a clearer picture to clinicians of which blood pressure measures are most informative for determining risk of APOs.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 11 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 25 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Hypertension, Statistical methods, Blood pressure

B3907 - Capturing epigenetic variation in the brain using blood - 25/10/2021

B number: 
B3907
Principal applicant name: 
Matthew Suderman | Integrative Epidemiology Unit (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Paul Yousefi, Alec McKinlay
Title of project: 
Capturing epigenetic variation in the brain using blood
Proposal summary: 

DNA methylation (DNAm) in neurological tissue is often difficult or impossible to use for observational studies, as sample collection must usually occur post-mortem. Studies interested in DNAm changes in brain related to disease outcomes or exposures commonly rely on DNAm measured in less invasive surrogate tissue, like blood, which typically have poorly characterised relationships with the target tissue DNAm levels of interest.

Early analysis has shown that some correlation exists between blood DNAm levels and DNAm at four different brain regions,1 but so far such work has been limited to comparisons at individual CpG sites. More recently, analyses developing multi-CpG prediction models have been able to serve as proxies for other types of molecular phenotypes, such as circulating protein levels in a variety of contexts. Thus, robustly trained, multi-CpG site blood DNAm models may be able to improve the variance explained of brain DNAm levels, especially in comparison to single CpGs. However, availability of appropriate paired blood-brain DNAm datasets required for model training has been limited to date.

We propose to develop models of brain DNAm using blood DNAm using an existing non-ALSPAC dataset and then apply the best performing models in ALSPAC DNAm to determine if they are associated with phenotypes and exposures relavant to the brain.

Impact of research: 
This is a pilot investigation to determine if we should seek funds to generate a larger and more refined DNA methylation dataset of matching brain and blood samples. Such a dataset would increase our ability to explain epigenetic variation in brain from blood samples.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 13 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 25 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Epigenetics, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Developmental disorders - autism, Mental health, Computer simulations/modelling/algorithms, Psychology - personality, Speech and language

B3910 - Genetic determinants of distinct body mass index trajectories to young-adulthood obesity - 25/10/2021

B number: 
B3910
Principal applicant name: 
Laura Howe | MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Stephanie Page, Amanda Hughes, William Johnson, Thomas Norris
Title of project: 
Genetic determinants of distinct body mass index trajectories to young-adulthood obesity
Proposal summary: 

Different body mass index (BMI) trajectories that result in obesity may have diverse aetiologies and health consequences, yet this heterogeneity is poorly understood. Previous research in the ALSPAC cohort has identified patterns of BMI development between ages 7 and 24 (Norris et al). Analyses using these patterns showed that people who have high and stable BMI across childhood may have lower cardiometabolic disease risk than individuals who do not become overweight or obese until late adolescence. How genetic factors relate to these patterns of BMI development is not known.

Impact of research: 
aetiological understanding of BMI trajectories
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 15 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 25 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Obesity, Genetic epidemiology, Growth

B3901 - The relationship between pubertal timing and depression in males - 25/10/2021

B number: 
B3901
Principal applicant name: 
Carol Joinson | University of Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Dr Jamie Leveret, Dr Jon Heron
Title of project: 
The relationship between pubertal timing and depression in males
Proposal summary: 

It is now well-established that an early timing of puberty is associated with a greater risk of depression in girls during adolescence, and there is evidence that this relationship is causal. Far fewer studies have examined whether pubertal timing is related to depression in boys and findings are inconsistent. Some studies have found that boys with an early puberty have a greater risk of depression in adolescence, whilst others have found that a later puberty confers a greater risk. Such inconsistency is often attributed to measurement difficulties in capturing pubertal development in boys. It is also unclear whether any effects of pubertal timing on depression in boys persist beyond adolescence.

Impact of research: 
The research findings have the potential to improve the identification of young people who are at risk of developing depressive symptoms and depression and to improve understanding about the role of puberty in determining risk for depression in boys. This evidence could help to inform the development of interventions and school based programmes to reduce the risk of depression in adolescent boys and young men.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 11 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 25 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Mental health, Statistical methods, Development

B3911 - Describing the ALSPAC religiosity data and identifying potential confounders - 23/10/2021

B number: 
B3911
Principal applicant name: 
Daniel Smith | Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Jimmy Morgan, Isaac Halstead, Prof Jean Golding, Prof Kate Northstone, Yasmin Iles-Caven
Title of project: 
Describing the ALSPAC religiosity data and identifying potential confounders
Proposal summary: 

This project aims to describe the ALSPAC data on religious and spiritual beliefs, as well as identify any potential sources of bias, particularly regarding confounders of religiosity. There are studies that have described the religious/spiritual beliefs and behaviours (RSBB) data collected by ALSPAC, however, to date no study has described this data in detail by exploring various associations between RSBB and other relevant factors (such as socioeconomic background or psychological traits). We will explore and describe associations with RSBB to inform future analyses, especially regarding the choice of potential confounders.

Impact of research: 
To understand in greater detail ALSPAC RSBB data and what factors may influence religiosity. To inform subsequent research using the same RSBB data.
Date proposal received: 
Saturday, 16 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 23 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Statistical methods, Cohort studies - attrition, bias, participant engagement, ethics

B3906 - Do Religious Behaviours and Beliefs Impact Study Participation - 23/10/2021

B number: 
B3906
Principal applicant name: 
Jimmy Morgan | Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Dr Dan Smith, Isaac Halstead, Prof Jean Golding, Prof Kate Northstone, Yasmin Iles-Caven
Title of project: 
Do Religious Behaviours and Beliefs Impact Study Participation
Proposal summary: 

This project aims to describe the ALSPAC data on religious and spiritual beliefs, as well as identify any potential sources of bias. One of these associations that is of particular interest is whether RSBB has an affect on participation in the study. This is because studies like ALSPAC rely entirely on continued participation for the study to work, meaning if there are unknown factors behind participant's likelihood of continuing with the study this may result in bias when using these variables in analyses.

Impact of research: 
To understand in greater detail how religion may impact study participation and to inform subsequent research using the same RSBB data.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 13 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 23 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, No diseases/conditions being analysed., Statistical methods, Cohort studies - attrition, bias, participant engagement, ethics

B3914 - Predicting lack of adherence to guidelines and intention to vaccinate The role of locus of control and spiritual beliefs - 23/10/2021

B number: 
B3914
Principal applicant name: 
Yasmin Iles-Caven | University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Jean Golding, Dr Kate Northstone, Prof Stephen Nowicki, Dr. Isaac Halstead
Title of project: 
Predicting lack of adherence to guidelines and intention to vaccinate: The role of locus of control and spiritual beliefs.
Proposal summary: 

Julian Rotter (1966) introduced the concept of locus of control of reinforcement (LOC) as a generalised expectancy within his social learning theory. It refers to an individual’s generalised expectancy regarding the consequences of their own behaviour. The more an individual believes their behaviour affects what happens to them the more Internal (ILOC) they are. Contrastingly, the more a person perceives God, luck, fate, chance, or powerful others as the instrument by which they have no control over what happens to them, the more External (ELOC) they are. Previous research has demonstrated ELOC individuals are more likely to believe that their adverse health results from God’s will, fate, or something outside their control such as the Covid-19 pandemic. A literature review has shown that both LOC and strong religious beliefs have influenced whether an individual will follow official guidelines to mitigate the spread of Covid and/or their decision to take up the offer of a vaccine. We will analyse ALSPAC data collected in 2020 before the Lockdown on LOC and religious beliefs/behaviours plus that collected in the ALSPAC Covid questionnaires. How can we use this information to develop programmes to help externally controlled, highly religious individuals be more open to accepting of following official mitigation guidelines and offers of a vaccination.

Impact of research: 
Most of the previous research has used small cross-sectional cohorts (obviously those set within the pandemic), but LOC and RSBB studies in general rarely are as large and longitudinal as ALSPAC. If our findings confirm previous research it is important for public health - because ELOC and ILOC learn differently and will enable advice to be targeted. We cannot underestimate the power of fake news and social media misinformation and so it is important that the government, health services and religious leaders work together to engender trust, so they can be seen as proponents of the best advice.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 18 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 23 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Covid-19 , Infection, Statistical methods, Covid-19 Locus of Control Religious beliefs Behaviour

B3889 - Proteomic study of reproductive ageing in ALSPAC women - 21/10/2021

B number: 
B3889
Principal applicant name: 
Anna Murray | University of Exeter (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
John Perry
Title of project: 
Proteomic study of reproductive ageing in ALSPAC women
Proposal summary: 

We are studying how the reproductive system ages in women, with the aim of improving fertility treatment and giving women better information about their likely reproductive lifespan. Fertility in women declines with age as the number of eggs in their ovaries decreases over time. When there are almost no eggs left a woman will go through menopause and periods stop. The timing of menopause varies between women, some going through it in their 20s, while others continue having periods into their 60s. We are investigating the factors that govern this variation in menopause age and aim to be able to predict it better, which will allow women to make informed choices about their reproduction. We know that genetic factors are important and so far we have identified around 300 genes that are involved in the variation in the timing of menopause. In this study we want to test proteins present in the blood to see if any of these are different in women who go through menopause early. ALSPAC is ideal for this study because there are samples available from young women, the mums and children and information has been collected or will be collected over the course of our study, about menopause.

Impact of research: 
We hope to be able to develop a predictive screen for young women and couples going through IVF to inform them of their ovarian reserve and therefore direct better treatment. Secondly the proteomic data and questionnaire data collected will be a useful addition to the ALSPAC resource for other groups to use.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 18 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 18 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Endocrinology, Fertility/infertility, Proteomics, Mothers - maternal age, menopause, obstetrics

B3900 - Testing the role of physical activity in promoting resilience against stress-related psychopathology - 18/10/2021

B number: 
B3900
Principal applicant name: 
Eleonora Iob | Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, & Neuroscience, King's College London (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Testing the role of physical activity in promoting resilience against stress-related psychopathology
Proposal summary: 

Stress-related psychopathology (e.g. depression and anxiety) affects one in eight children in the UK. It is therefore crucial to identify modifiable protective factors that can promote mental health in young people. Physical activity is a promising target for the prevention of depression and anxiety. However, the extent to which it can reduce the burden of mental disorders in young people is not known. This is due to the breadth of environmental, social, and genetic factors that could explain the relationship between physical activity and psychopathology. Furthermore, it is unclear whether physical activity can promote resilience to psychopathology in children who are at higher risk by virtue of genetic liability or adversity. This project will apply cutting-edge causal inference methods, including G-methods, fixed-effects regression, mendelian randomisation, and twin designs, to test whether physical activity can promote resilience against the development of stress-related psychopathology, using data from large population-based cohorts of children from the UK, Netherlands, Norway, and Finland. By comparing results across different studies and analytical approaches, the project will strengthen causal inferences from observational data and minimise potential biases associated with each method. In turn, the results will allow us to draw more confident conclusions regarding whether interventions targeting physical activity could help to reduce the burden of mental health problems in young people.

Impact of research: 
The findings of this project will strengthen the evidence for the plausible protective effect of physical activity against the development of depression and anxiety in young people. If physical activity can prevent the emergence of stress-related psychopathology, then interventions should focus on increasing children’s physical activity levels. Additionally, if parents’ physical activity may also influence their offspring’s mental health, family-level interventions would be necessary to promote physical activity in both parents and their children.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 11 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 18 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Statistical methods, Physical - activity, fitness, function

B3890 - Daily mental health symptoms in high risk depression groups a feasibility EMA study - 19/10/2021

B number: 
B3890
Principal applicant name: 
Alex Kwong | PHS/IEU
Co-applicants: 
Dr Jon Heron, Professor Marcus Munafo, Professor Nicholas Timpson, Dr Kate Northstone, Professor Rebecca Pearson
Title of project: 
Daily mental health symptoms in high risk depression groups: a feasibility EMA study
Proposal summary: 

Mental health disorders like depression and anxiety are common and have consequences on all aspects of health. Mental health disorders like depression have a complex aetiology comprised of genetic and environmental risk factors, but importantly these risk factors predict different longitudinal profiles of depression (i.e., those with persistent depressive symptoms across adolescence compared to those who experience early adult onset depressive symptoms compared to those who experience low symptoms; Kwong et al., 2019 - JAMA Network Open). We have also shown that these depression profiles are associated with poorer downstream consequences like lower educational attainment and NEET status (Lopez-Lopez et al., 2019).

However, these studies are subject to measurement error and potential biases in recall which can weaken evidence. In order to identify the mechanisms underpinning poorer mental health and design appropriate interventions and preventions, it is important to understand the processes of mental health in granular detail. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) provides one alternative design to address these biases and provides in depth information on mental health in real time via multiple assessments per day or per week over a given period of time. Crucially, EMA of mental health can be paired with other forms of data collection such as sleep, exercise and diet to examine relationships between mental health and wellbeing.

The purpose of this project is to conduct a small scale feasibility study to examine how EMA studies could be collected in ALSPAC and in particular, if they can be collected in individuals from different depression profiles. The results from this study would provide initial results that would inform how to run a large scale study in subsequent work.

Impact of research: 
Identify temporal variation in MH
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 11 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 11 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Mental health

B3897 - The relationship between maternal psychopathology and offspring incontinence at school age a prospective cohort study - 11/10/2021

B number: 
B3897
Principal applicant name: 
Carol Joinson | IEU, University of Bristol (Wellcome Trust MGLE programme)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Jon Heron, Gemma Sawyer
Title of project: 
The relationship between maternal psychopathology and offspring incontinence at school age: a prospective cohort study
Proposal summary: 

Exposure to maternal anxiety and depression in the antenatal and/or postnatal periods has been linked to an increased risk of adverse child health and developmental outcomes. Attainment of continence is a key developmental milestone in early childhood, and there is evidence that exposure to maternal anxiety and depression increases the risk that offspring will fail to attain continence by primary school age. It is unclear, however, if (i) anxiety and depression have independent effects on offspring incontinence, and (ii) whether the relationship with offspring incontinence is due to exposure to maternal anxiety/depression during the antenatal or postnatal period.

Impact of research: 
An increased understanding of the origins of bladder/bowel problems and potentially modifiable factors in childhood could prevent these problems from becoming chronic and avert secondary impacts on quality of life.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 8 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 11 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Incontinence, Statistical methods, Development

B3894 - Maternal stress and the biological and epigenetic pathway to childrens development - 08/10/2021

B number: 
B3894
Principal applicant name: 
Nancy Kong | University of Sydney (Australia)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Brendan Osberg
Title of project: 
Maternal stress and the biological and epigenetic pathway to children’s development
Proposal summary: 

This project aims to investigate the effect of parental stress on children’s development of non-cognitive skills and both emotional and behavioural disorders. In particular, we plan to investigate parental stress in the forms of: (a) maternal exposure to stressors during pregnancy; and (b) COVID-19 related health and financial stress during the height of the pandemic. This project will employ rich longitudinal datasets and use questionnaire data to examine parenting styles as well as epigenetic, genetic, and clinical biomarkers to examine the potential pathways of parental stress on children’s developmental outcomes.

Impact of research: 
The project will identify a novel pathway of stress transmission, highlighting the potential negative intergenerational consequences. The findings will shed light on policymakers to reduce parental stress in order to minimize social costs across generations. Results will be presented at international conferences, and aim to be published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 6 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 8 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Health Economics, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Eating disorders - anorexia, bulimia, Mental health, Obesity, DNA sequencing, Gene mapping, GWAS, Statistical methods, Biological samples -e.g. blood, cell lines, saliva, etc., Biomarkers - e.g. cotinine, fatty acids, haemoglobin, etc., Hormones - cortisol, IGF, thyroid, Mothers - maternal age, menopause, obstetrics, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc., Parenting, Sex differences, Siblings, Statistical methods, Whole genome sequencing, Birth outcomes, BMI, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Cognition - cognitive function, Development, Epigenetics, Genetics, Genome wide association study

B3895 - Pubertal disparity in the development of attention symptoms - 08/10/2021

B number: 
B3895
Principal applicant name: 
Annabeth Groenman | University of Amsterdam
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Pubertal disparity in the development of attention symptoms
Proposal summary: 

Attention problems occur in many mental health disorders, but they are the key symptom in ADHD. Many mental health disorders find their origin in adolescence. Internalising problems such as depression and anxiety have been related to pubertal development. This project is aimed at investigating trajectories of attention problems in relation to pubertal development to examine whether they show a parallel trajectory. and whether this parallel trajectory is sex specific.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 6 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 8 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Mental health, Statistical methods, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Puberty, Sex differences

B3896 - Defining association of early life infection with differences in cellular composition of blood samples - 08/10/2021

B number: 
B3896
Principal applicant name: 
Hannah Elliott | MRC IEU, University of Bristol (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Prof George Davey Smith, Prof Caroline Relton
Title of project: 
Defining association of early life infection with differences in cellular composition of blood samples
Proposal summary: 

Exploration of ethnic differences in DNA methylation patterns show that differences in methylation are largely driven by differences in cell composition of the blood samples methylation is measured from. This raises important questions about when and how differences in cell composition arise. One possibility is that they occur in response to early life infection and persist through life. This project investigates the potential link between early life infection (using H. pylori infection as a marker) and variation in cellular composition of blood samples collected at the same study timepoints.

Impact of research: 
This research will increase understanding of the determinants of variability in the the cellular composition of blood.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 6 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 8 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Infection, EWAS, Biological samples -e.g. blood, cell lines, saliva, etc., Environment - enviromental exposure, pollution, Epigenetics

B3893 - Associations between religion and diet - 06/10/2021

B number: 
B3893
Principal applicant name: 
Dan Smith | Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Jimmy Morgan, Prof Jean Golding, Prof Kate Northstone
Title of project: 
Associations between religion and diet
Proposal summary: 

This project aims to explore the associations between religion and diet in ALSPAC. Several studies have suggested that Religious/Spiritual Beliefs and Behaviours (RSBB) such as belief in God and church attendance are associated with health (VanderWeele, 2017; Koenig et al 2012). The mediators of this association are not fully known, but likely include social support and health-promoting behaviours (e.g., reductions in smoking/alcohol/drug use; VanderVeele, 2017), as well as potential direct effects of religion on health (Hill & Pargament, 2003). One possible mediator on the causal pathway between RSBB and health is through diet. Many religions have rules and norms surrounding diet, and promoting health lifestyles more generally, so we may expect associations between religion and diet, and potentially downstream health effects. This project aims to explore these associations in ALSPAC.

References:
Hill, P. C., & Pargament, K. I. (2003). Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality: Implications for physical and mental health research. American psychologist, 58(1), 64.
Koenig, H., Koenig, H. G., King, D., & Carson, V. B. (2012). Handbook of religion and health. Oup Usa.
VanderWeele, T. J. (2017). Religious communities and human flourishing. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26(5), 476-481.

Impact of research: 
To understand in greater detail how religion impacts diet, and potentially subsequent health. Depending on the findings, suggestions could be made regarding dietary recommendations.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 4 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 6 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Nutrition - breast feeding, diet

B3892 - A latent variable approach to examining the role of maternal RSBB in offspring mental health - 04/10/2021

B number: 
B3892
Principal applicant name: 
Isaac Halstead | University of Bristol (Oxfordshire)
Co-applicants: 
Carol Joinson, Jon Heron
Title of project: 
A latent variable approach to examining the role of maternal RSBB in offspring mental health
Proposal summary: 

We are investigating whether a mother's religious beliefs are related to their child's mental health.

Impact of research: 
Initially, it will impact the analysis we intend to use. When we examine mental health variables, our research will provide a novel insight into the way maternal RSBB influences offspring mental health.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 1 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 4 October, 2021
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Mental health, RSBB, Statistical methods, Parenting

B3891 - Methylome sequencing using nanopore - a pilot analysis - 20/10/2021

B number: 
B3891
Principal applicant name: 
Josine Min | MRC IEU, University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Professor Jonathan Mill, Professor Caroline Relton, Dr Eilis Hannon
Title of project: 
Methylome sequencing using nanopore - a pilot analysis
Proposal summary: 

A powerful avenue into researching the functional consequences of changes in DNAm levels is to correlate DNA sequence variants such as single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) to DNAm levels to find both local and distal (for example on other chromosomes) effects. Having completed the largest genetic study of DNAm worldwide to date (through the Genetics of DNA Methylation Consortium) by scanning 10 million SNPs genome-wide, we have identified 270k SNP-DNAm associations. This was achieved by analysing about 400,000 DNAm sites in blood, which is only 2% of 28 million DNAm sites across the genome. There is a huge potential for improved understanding of DNAm variation between individuals and its influence on health and disease by studying other regulatory regions of the genome. We therefore will use novel sequencing technologies based on long reads with the ability to measure all 28 million sites and to determine both the DNAm level and the genotype at single molecule level.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 29 September, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 30 September, 2021
Keywords: 
Epigenetics, Addiction - e.g. alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, gambling, etc., methylome sequencing using nanopore

B3887 - Sex differences in the association between alcohol use during adolescence and cardiometabolic risk in early adulthood - 30/09/2021

B number: 
B3887
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Linda O'Keeffe | University College Cork
Co-applicants: 
Dr Kate O'Neill, Joan Omosefe Osayande
Title of project: 
Sex differences in the association between alcohol use during adolescence and cardiometabolic risk in early adulthood
Proposal summary: 

Evidence suggests that alcohol use has different impacts on cardiovascular risk in females and males but results are somewhat conflicting. Few studies to date have examined sex differences in the association of alcohol use with risk factors earlier in the life course (for instance during early adulthood) and to our knowledge no studies to date have examined sex differences in associations of alcohol use with key molecular cardiometabolic traits that are known causes of cardiovascular disease.

Impact of research: 
The student here is a final year medical sciences student who will learn much about the principles and practice of research in epidemiology through this project. Other impacts will include a better understanding of whether sex differences in the association of alcohol use and cardiometabolic risk exist.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 28 September, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 30 September, 2021
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Addiction - e.g. alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, gambling, etc., NMR, Cardiovascular

B3884 - Intergenerational effects of parental substance use on child substance use and mental health outcomes - 28/09/2021

B number: 
B3884
Principal applicant name: 
Hannah Sallis | MRC IEU (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Prof. Marcus Munafo, Dr Gemma Sharp, Dr Kayleigh Easey
Title of project: 
Intergenerational effects of parental substance use on child substance use and mental health outcomes
Proposal summary: 

This project aims to investigate the effect of parental substance use (smoking, alcohol and coffee consumption) both during and after pregnancy on offspring outcomes and the mechanisms via which these effects act. We will initially look at how parental substance use is associated with offspring substance use as a proof of concept. Once the triangulation approach has been validated using offspring substance use as an outcome, we will use the same approach to investigate the association between parental substance use and offspring mental health (including depression and anxiety).

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 23 September, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 28 September, 2021
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Addiction - e.g. alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, gambling, etc., Mental health, Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., Statistical methods, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Environment - enviromental exposure, pollution, Genetic epidemiology, Mendelian randomisation, Mothers - maternal age, menopause, obstetrics, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc.

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