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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B4048 - Prospective relationships between incontinence and common mental health problems in adolescents from a UK cohort - 20/04/2022

B number: 
B4048
Principal applicant name: 
Carol Joinson | PHS (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Naomi Warne, Katie Gordon
Title of project: 
Prospective relationships between incontinence and common mental health problems in adolescents from a UK cohort
Proposal summary: 

Incontinence – both urinary and faecal – is a common childhood occurrence. Whilst most children obtain daytime bladder control by 3-years, and night-time bladder control at 4-6-years, it is not uncommon for school-age children to experience some form of incontinence (1). Indeed, parents of 7 ½ year-olds in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) cohort reported 15.5% experienced bedwetting, and 7.6% experienced daytime wetting. Incontinence can seriously undermine quality of life, and psychological distress may occur if children become aware that incontinence is unusual for children of their age and/or following negative reactions from family or peers (1). Further, 20-40% of children in attendance of continence clinics meet diagnostic criteria of at least one psychiatric condition (2).

It is commonly believed that issues with continence during childhood will resolve with age (3). However, epidemiological studies report 2-3% of adolescents experience urinary incontinence, and 1-1.5% experience faecal incontinence (3). There is also evidence that adolescents experience more severe forms of incontinence compared to younger children. Indeed, a cross-sectional study of 16,512 children in Hong Kong found a greater proportion of frequent bedwetting (≥3 wet nights/week) accompanied with daytime wetting and other lower urinary tract symptoms in 11-19-year olds compared to 5-10-year olds (4).

Incontinence in adolescence is particularly problematic because this is a sensitive time period in which identity and body image are formed, and peer acceptance is highly valued (1). The shame and stigma associated with incontinence may affect friendships and participation in social activities, which may in turn increase risk of developing psychosocial problems. Psychosocial problems during adolescence have been linked to future adverse mental health and social outcomes, including poor academic attainment, low self-esteem, depression, and suicidal behaviours (1,3).

Whilst some studies have investigated whether childhood incontinence is a risk factor for poor psychosocial outcomes in adolescence, few consider the impact of incontinence issues that persist beyond childhood. Further research is therefore required to investigate the relationship between continence issues in adolescence and adverse mental health outcomes.

1. Grzeda MT, Heron J, von Gontard A, Joinson C. Effects of urinary incontinence on psychosocial outcomes in adolescence. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2017 Jun;26(6):649–58.
2. Heron J, Grzeda MT, von Gontard A, Wright A, Joinson C. Trajectories of urinary incontinence in childhood and bladder and bowel symptoms in adolescence: prospective cohort study. BMJ Open. 2017;7(3):e014238.
3. Whale K, Cramer H, Joinson C. Left behind and left out: The impact of the school environment on young people with continence problems. British Journal of Health Psychology. 2018;23(2):253–77.
4. Yeung CK, Sreedhar B, Sihoe JDY, Sit FKY, Lau J. Differences in characteristics of nocturnal enuresis between children and adolescents: a critical appraisal from a large epidemiological study. BJU International. 2006;97(5):1069–73.

Impact of research: 
This masters project is part of a wider MRC project examining bidirectional relationships between incontinence and mental health. The findings will help to raise awareness of the need for psychological support for young people with continence issues.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 11 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 20 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Incontinence, Statistical methods, Development

B4051 - Early-life exposure to indoor mould and lung function trajectories in ALSPAC - 20/04/2022

B number: 
B4051
Principal applicant name: 
Raquel Granell | MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (MRC-IEU) Bristol Medical School (Population Health Sciences)
Co-applicants: 
Mr Joshua Khan, Dr James Dodd, Dr Chin Yang Shapland.
Title of project: 
Early-life exposure to indoor mould and lung function trajectories in ALSPAC
Proposal summary: 

Indoor mould is known to damage respiratory health, including worsening exacerbations and increasing occurrence of asthma. This is a prevalent issue and the number of people exposed to indoor mould exposure has been increasing (from 18% to 50%). This exposure is at risk of increasing with further climate change,for example with increasing numbers of floods occurring there will be a worsening of indoor mould growth. Previous studies have shown that early-life exposure to risk factors, such as air pollution, are associated with reduced lung growth and lower FEV1 as well as detrimental lung function trajectories; some of these trajectories are characterised by earlier onset respiratory disease and associated with premature death. This study will investigate the early life influence of indoor mould on lung function trajectories up to 24 years old (i.e. nearing respiratory physiological plateau) using data from the ALSPAC population based birth cohort.

Impact of research: 
This work will be the basis for Josh's MSc dissertation, and hopefully will be able to get a publication.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 13 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 20 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Respiratory- lung function, Statistical methods, Environment - enviromental exposure, pollution

B4053 - Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse and cardiovascular health in young adults - 20/04/2022

B number: 
B4053
Principal applicant name: 
Annie Herbert | University of Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Prof. Abigail Fraser, Prof. Laura Howe
Title of project: 
Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse and cardiovascular health in young adults
Proposal summary: 

Intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA), refers to any behaviour within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological, or sexual harm to those in the relationship. There is evidence that IPVA in older adult relationships is associated with poor mental and physical health. However, very little is known about the effects of IPVA in young adult relationships, and particularly in UK populations and for physical health. The aim of this project is to estimate the association between IPVA during young adulthood and cardiovascular health in the following years, in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.

Impact of research: 
This work will provide a better understanding of the effects of IPVA on later health, when the IPVA takes place in young adult relationships, and in a UK population in particular. These findings will be of interest to public health practitioners and researchers in the fields of domestic and dating violence.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 14 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 20 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Intimate Partner Violence, Cardiovascular diseases, Statistical methods, Blood pressure, BMI, Cardiovascular, Social science

B4054 - Autism autistic traits and disordered eating behaviours in young adulthood a population based cohort study - 20/04/2022

B number: 
B4054
Principal applicant name: 
Ms Amanda Ly | Bristol Medical School (PHS), MRC IEU, Centre of Academic Mental Health (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Mr Lawrence Howes, Dr Helen Bould, Dr Dheeraj Rai
Title of project: 
Autism, autistic traits and disordered eating behaviours in young adulthood: a population based cohort study
Proposal summary: 

ASD (autism spectrum disorder, to be described as autism here) is a lifelong heritable condition with traits that present themselves at different levels of severity in those affected. Autism is characterised by core traits that include difficulties with social communication, social interaction and repetitive behaviours. The prevalence of diagnosed autism, estimated in large scale surveys to be approximately 1% across all ages, has been increasing in children and adults. While the factors driving this trend are widely debated, it is clear there will likely be a requirement for increased support from health and social care services.

Eating disorders are sometimes fatal mental health disorders that can seriously damage physical health. This group of psychiatric disorders are characterised by eating or weight control behaviours that are abnormal. Disordered eating behaviours (e.g. restrictive eating, fasting, purging, and binging) are risk factors for the development of diagnosable eating disorders.

Autistic adults are at increased risk of poor health outcomes and it has long been noted that the inflexibility visible in eating disorders can appear autistic in nature. Furthermore, difficulties in social communication have been associated with an increased risk of disordered eating behaviours in adolescence. This serves to highlight the requirement for a clearer understanding of the relationship between these conditions in adulthood, particularly as this may be a time in development where the individual acquires more control over food purchases and eating behaviours.

During this project we wish to find out if individuals with diagnosed autism and those with high levels of autistic traits are more likely to have any disordered eating behaviours in adulthood (and which behaviours these might be).

Impact of research: 
Increased understanding of the relationship between autism, autistic traits and disordered eating behaviours. If we identify relevant moderators or mediators this could also contribute towards the evidence base to potentially inform development of intervention strategies to support autistic individuals and those with high levels of autistic traits.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 15 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 20 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Developmental disorders - autism, Eating disorders - anorexia, bulimia, Mental health, Statistical methods

B4044 - Maternal employment and childcare associated with socio-emotional health in children - 20/04/2022

B number: 
B4044
Principal applicant name: 
Yassaman Vafai | BIHR (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Jordi Julvez, Prof Deborah Lawlor, Ahmed Elhakeem
Title of project: 
Maternal employment and childcare associated with socio-emotional health in children
Proposal summary: 

Socio-emotional outcomes such as internalizing and externalizing behaviours, and ADHD in young children are associated with subsequent adverse outcomes in adolescence and adulthood such as poor school performance, depression, and antisocial behaviours. Growing empirical evidence suggests that many factors within the home environment are associated with the onset of these outcomes in children. One of these factors is maternal employment status, which for many families serves a critical purpose through increasing financial resources of the family, enhancing women’s careers and independence, and encouraging a more-equal gender role within the family. Nevertheless, some literature has raised concerns regarding the effect of maternal employment on children’s socio-emotional health, although the findings are inconsistent. For instance, some studies found that maternal employment within the first year of childbirth is associated with development of externalizing and internalizing behaviours in children. A few studies found no association, while in some others maternal employment led to improved socio-emotional health especially among minority and low-income populations.The discrepancies in findings can be due to differences in study design, exposure and outcome measurements, and the contextual characteristics of settings. In particular, maternity leave and childcare policies likely play crucial moderating roles in the association between maternal employment and child outcomes.There is evidence that the type, initiation (with earlier initiation due to shorter maternity leave) and quality of childcare impact child development. However, data on the potential additive effect of maternal employment and childcare on children’s socio-emotional health outcomes are scarce. Therefore, to better understand the role of maternal employment and childcare on children’s socio-emotional health and to inform public health policies and interventions related to maternity leave and childcare, new research examining the effect of these factors on children’s socio-emotional health is warranted.

Impact of research: 
To inform public health policies in regards to maternity leave and childcare as well as women's rights
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 11 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 20 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Mental health, Statistical methods, Social science

B4045 - Association between adiposity and diabetes with inflammation - 20/04/2022

B number: 
B4045
Principal applicant name: 
Vanessa Tan | Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Lucy Goudswaard, Professor Nicholas Timpson
Title of project: 
Association between adiposity and diabetes with inflammation
Proposal summary: 

Increased adiposity and Type 2 diabetes (T2D) have both been associated with increased risk of developing certain cancers and are both becoming increasingly prevalent globally. Although adiposity, T2D and cancer share many risk factors, the biological pathways linking adiposity and T2D to cancer remain poorly understood.

Chronic low-grade inflammation, characterised by abnormal cytokine production, is associated with both adiposity and T2D. Observational studies have suggested that increased adiposity and hyperglycaemia associated with diabetes induce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6 which have key roles in cancer. This observation has led to the hypothesis that chronic inflammation might be a potential mechanism linking adiposity and T2D to cancer. However, due to the inherent limitations of observational research such as reverse causation and confounding, findings from observational studies need to be interpreted with caution. Furthermore, previous studies have used a single ‘baseline’ measurement of adiposity, T2D and inflammation and cannot fully account for the time-dependent variability in these measurements which may lead to a biased estimation.

Mendelian randomization is an analytical approach where genetic variants reliably associated with risk factors of interest are used as proxy measures to re-estimate the associations between an exposure and an outcome where some of the limitations of observational epidemiology are reduced. In this investigation, we would like to use genetic variants associated with adiposity, T2D and related glycaemic traits to investigate the estimated causal association between adiposity and T2D with inflammatory proteins (measured using the Olink inflammatory panel). We will also use longitudinal measures of inflammatory proteins to investigate whether the relationship between BMI/T2D with inflammation changes over time (across childhood and young adulthood) and potentially identify patterns in the relationship between BMI/T2D and inflammation which may be relevant to cancer development.

Impact of research: 
This project will contribute to the identification of inflammatory proteins associated with adiposity and T2D, and therefore, to our understanding of mechanisms underlying the observed associations between adiposity and T2D with health outcomes such as cancer.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 5 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 20 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Cancer, Proteomics, BMI, Genetic epidemiology, Mendelian randomisation

B4035 - Genetic basis of DNA methylation - 13/04/2022

B number: 
B4035
Principal applicant name: 
Josine Min | MRC IEU, University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Caroline Relton, Gibran Hemani, Tom Gaunt
Title of project: 
Genetic basis of DNA methylation
Proposal summary: 

DNA methylation (DNAm) plays a central role in gene regulation. It helps to define how cells respond to environmental signals and, ultimately, contributes to health or susceptibility to disease. DNAm variation is influenced by genetic, molecular and environmental and other factors. However, the amount and the effects of differences in DNAm from one person to another is poorly understood.

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 genomewide, 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 using EPIC arrays and by comparing different ethnicities. We propose to systematically map genetic influences on DNAm and to compare these genetic influences across ancestries.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 5 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 13 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Statistical methods, Genetic epidemiology

B4031 - Measuring the glycocalix - 13/04/2022

B number: 
B4031
Principal applicant name: 
Abigail Fraser | PHS, BRMS (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Prof DA Lawlor, Prof Kate Northstone
Title of project: 
Measuring the glycocalix
Proposal summary: 

ALSPAC is measuring the glycocalyx using Glycocheck. This project aims to look at the correlations of existing data with age, sex and known determinants of cardiovascular disease, to support and inform future grant applications for funding for further collection.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 5 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 13 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity, Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., Blood pressure, BMI, Cardiovascular, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Sex differences

B4039 - Multi domain understanding of observed parent-infant interactions at home - 13/04/2022

B number: 
B4039
Principal applicant name: 
Nicky Wright | Manchester Metropolitan University
Co-applicants: 
Professor Rebecca Pearson, Dr Ekaterina Ostashchenko, Dr Julia Wolska, Dr Yael Benn, Dr Laura Bozicevic, Miss Romana Burgess, Dr Ilaria Costantini, Iryna Culpin, Louah Sirri
Title of project: 
Multi domain understanding of observed parent-infant interactions at home
Proposal summary: 

Variations in mother–infant interactions have a substantial impact on offspring health and functioning in later life. The accepted gold standard for measuring mother–child interactions is to film interaction between mother and child in lab or home setting from the third person. There are several limitations to this approach, including demand characteristics, increased burden on participants and researchers and a less accurate perception of the infant and mothers actual experience in interaction due to using the third person perspective and often only short snippets of time. The recent advent of head-mounted cameras which can be used in naturalistic home settings addresses these limitations. In addition the team have developed a micro-coding system to allow an assessment of moment by moment interaction behaviours, coded using both micro and automated codes.
Research has shown that use of the headcams detects more maternal behaviours in interaction that are social. The videos from home interactions can be coded, they have so far been analysed using an in-depth micro-coded system. What is not yet known is how the micro-coded interaction behaviours map on to global constructs such as parental “sensitivity” and more specific dyadic processes such as attunement, contingency, coordination, matching, mirroring, reparation, and synchrony (Provenci, di Minico, Giusti, Guida & Muller, 2018). The first stage of this project will involve coding and processing data and conducting analyses to identify behavioural manifestations of these and other parent-interaction constructs.
We will validate the micro-coding and automated coding against global coding of sensitivity using videos from both ALSPAC mothers and fathers. This will allow the identification of the behavioural manifestations of sensitivity using both mother infant moment by moment behaviours, importantly across behavioural domains (i.e, mirroring of facial expressions as well as vocalisations or across behaviours where the affect tone is matched in face in mum and vocal in baby), and with quantification of duration of behaviours and time between behaviours. We will also develop processes to automate, such as face reader outputs, currently being validated in parents , but we need more input to use for infants. Establishing which micro-codes and combinations of behaviour are associated with global parent-infant constructs in mothers and fathers will produce a less labour-intensive method to assess parent-infant interaction. Further, this work has important implications for intervention to enhance parent-infant interaction by identifying specific concrete behaviours to target.
The second stage involves examining associations between the identified parent-infant interaction processes and parental mental health and language and with child cognitive, emotional and behavioural outcomes. We combine a number of researchers with specialism around parent-infant interaction, language development, proximity and body-position, joint attention and emotional and behavioural problems.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 11 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 13 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Statistical methods, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity

B4050 - UK LLC The mental health and wellbeing consequences of contracting COVID19 - 14/04/2022

B number: 
B4050
Principal applicant name: 
Richard Shaw | MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
UK LLC: The mental health and wellbeing consequences of contracting COVID19
Proposal summary: 

Information can be obtained from ALSPAC (B number folder) or the UK LLC on request

Impact of research: 
Information can be obtained from ALSPAC (B number folder) or the UK LLC on request
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 12 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 13 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition

B4025 - Associations between religion and life events - 11/04/2022

B number: 
B4025
Principal applicant name: 
Jimmy Morgan | Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Dan Major-Smith, Jean Golding, Dr Jonathan Jong (TBC)
Title of project: 
Associations between religion and life events
Proposal summary: 

Religion can often be recognized as a source of reassurance for those undergoing major or traumatic events in their lives, providing the understanding that these events have their place within the order of the larger universe (Berger, 2011). Hence the Marxist dictum of religion being the “opium of the people.” However, there is relatively little research done on the inversion of this dynamic, specific types of trauma can also have an impact an individual’s strength of faith (Leo et al., 2021). This is particularly prevalent with death related trauma, often witnessing death of a loved one or colleague could influence individuals to either further embrace their faith or weaken it (Fontana and Rosenheck, 2004; Morris Trainor et al., 2019). This is consistent with the shattered assumptions model that posits that those that have undergone trauma often change their world view to ‘accommodate’ their negative life events (Janoff-Bulman, 2002).

The relationship between traumatic life events and religion has been studied in detail by the scientific community, however, the nature and direction of the relationship is still a contentious topic. A review by Chen and Koenig in 2006 found that of the 11 papers in the review, one found no association, four found a positive association, three found mixed associations, and three found an inverse association (Chen and Koenig, 2006).

In these studies, we aim to investigate the relationship between RSBB and traumatic life events in both directions. To find how participants’ religious beliefs impact how they deal with trauma but also if different life events are associated with a change in one’s religiosity.

Berger, P.L. (2011) The sacred canopy: elements of a sociological theory of religion. Available at: http://www.myilibrary.com?id=591409 (Accessed: 9 March 2022).

Chen, Y.Y. and Koenig, H.G. (2006) ‘Traumatic Stress and Religion: Is there a Relationship? A Review of Empirical Findings’, Journal of Religion and Health, 45(3), pp. 371–381. doi:10.1007/s10943-006-9040-y.

Fontana, A. and Rosenheck, R. (2004) ‘Trauma, Change in Strength of Religious Faith, and Mental Health Service Use Among Veterans Treated for PTSD’, Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 192(9), pp. 579–584. doi:10.1097/01.nmd.0000138224.17375.55.

Janoff-Bulman, R. (2002) Shattered Assumptions. Available at: https://www.vlebooks.com/vleweb/product/openreader?id=none&isbn=97814516... (Accessed: 17 March 2022).

Leo, D. et al. (2021) ‘The Effect of Trauma on Religious Beliefs: A Structured Literature Review and Meta-Analysis’, Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 22(1), pp. 161–175. doi:10.1177/1524838019834076.

Morris Trainor, Z. et al. (2019) ‘Death salience moderates the effect of trauma on religiosity.’, Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 11(6), pp. 639–646. doi:10.1037/tra0000430.

Impact of research: 
To understand in greater detail how religion influences how participants deal with traumatic events and also whether these traumatic events influence participants’ religiosity.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 7 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 11 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Statistical methods, Injury (including accidents)

B4043 - Examining predictors of COVID-19 vaccine intentions and behaviours in the ALSPAC study - 26/04/2022

B number: 
B4043
Principal applicant name: 
Isaac Halstead | UoB
Co-applicants: 
Dr Dan Smith, Dr Kate Northstone, Jennifer Condie
Title of project: 
Examining predictors of COVID-19 vaccine intentions and behaviours in the ALSPAC study.
Proposal summary: 

It is important to identify the people who may not want to take up the COVID-19 vaccine. For a vaccine to work well 70-80% of the population need to have had it. We will look at factors that might be associated with people who do not want to have the vaccine and also look at the people who have had to see if there is any difference.

Impact of research: 
This work will help to identify key subgroups in the population who are hesitant to take the vaccine and will contribute to public health interventions to improve wider health.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 4 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 11 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Social Science, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Social science

B4029 - A summary of pain and related items in ALSPAC - 04/04/2022

B number: 
B4029
Principal applicant name: 
Hannah Sallis | MRC IEU
Co-applicants: 
Professor Rebecca Pearson, Professor Rachael Gooberman-Hill, Professor Anthony Pickering, Dr James Dunham, Dr Kate Northstone, Professor Edmund Keogh, Dr Emma Fisher, Dr Abbie Jordan
Title of project: 
A summary of pain and related items in ALSPAC
Proposal summary: 

This project is part of the Consortium to Research Individual, Interpersonal and Social Influences in Pain (CRIISP), which aims to determine the psychosocial mechanisms underpinning chronic pain. This work will be undertaken across four large cohorts studies, including ALSPAC. In order to identify mechanisms and synthesise data across these cohorts, it is first necessary to identify the measures of pain included within each study. As an extension to the original proposal (B3598), we propose to write a data note to summarise all pain related items in ALSPAC across G0 and G1.

Impact of research: 
The overall aim of the CRIISP project is to determine the psychosocial mechanisms underpinning chronic pain. In doing so, we will deliver a transformational contribution to pain science and clinical practice. The data note proposed here will make the pain related data measured within ALSPAC more accessible to researchers wishing to use these variables in the future.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 1 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 4 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Physiology, Bone disorders - arthritis, osteoporosis, Pain, Bones (and joints), Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity

B4032 - Exploring risk pathways between early life adversity and eating disorder symptoms - 04/04/2022

B number: 
B4032
Principal applicant name: 
Francesca Solmi | University College London (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Jane Hahn , Professor Glyn Lewis, Dr Amy Harrison, Professor Eirini Flouri
Title of project: 
Exploring risk pathways between early life adversity and eating disorder symptoms
Proposal summary: 

Eating disorders are severe psychiatric conditions that often start in adolescence. They present with other serious health problems, have a high mortality rate, and are becoming increasingly prevalent in the UK population. Prevention of eating disorders is the ultimate aim but knowledge of risk factors for eating disorders is limited.

There is no consensus about the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and eating disorder incidence in adolescence as current research is based on cross-sectional studies in adults. Different aspects of SES might have different effects on eating disorder symptoms (e.g., parental education and income). SES might have indirect effects on eating disorders via food insecurity, poor dietary patterns, and early mental health problem, however these hypotheses have not been previously tested.

Our proposed research will help identify childhood risk factors for eating disorders and inform future preventative interventions.

Impact of research: 
The studies we propose will help to identify children at risk for eating disorders in adolescence and, eventually, inform preventative school- and family-level interventions.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 28 March, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 4 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Eating disorders - anorexia, bulimia, Mental health, Statistical methods, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Development, Social science, Statistical methods

B4042 - DPUK Effect of life course stressors and cognitive status on mental health outcomes during the Covid-19 pandemic - 07/04/2022

B number: 
B4042
Principal applicant name: 
Sarah Bauermeister | Department of Psychiatry | University of Oxford
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
DPUK: Effect of life course stressors and cognitive status on mental health outcomes during the Covid-19 pandemic
Proposal summary: 

Information can be obtained from ALSPAC (B number folder) or DPUK on request

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 4 April, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 4 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health

B4033 - The study of rare variants and their longitudinal effects on metabolic and anthropometric traits 28-02-2022 - 100918 - 11/04/2022

B number: 
B4033
Principal applicant name: 
Brian Lam | IMS-MRL, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Stephen O'Rahilly, Dr Sam Lockhart, Dr Giles Yeo
Title of project: 
The study of rare variants and their longitudinal effects on metabolic and anthropometric traits (28-02-2022 - 10:09:18)
Proposal summary: 

We know that some people carry rare mutations that disrupt the normal function of critical metabolic pathways, leading to conditions such as obesity and/or diabetes. Genome sequencing studies are increasingly identifying such rare mutations. Using knowledge about the precise structure and function of the proteins encoded by these genes, as well as experimental data generated in the lab, we can determine which rare variants are likely to be disruptive.

After identifying mutations that disrupt protein function, we can use the wealth of data available in ALSPAC to determine how possessing a disrupted protein affects a persons growth and metabolism. This will allows us to infer the function of proteins in human physiology, and will identify new drug targets for metabolic diseases like obesity and diabetes.

Impact of research: 
- New information relating to the function of specific genes in human biology - Ultimately, we envision this work will discover novel regulators of human metabolism and identify viable targets for drug development in cardiometabolic diseases.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 29 March, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 4 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Endocrinology, Diabetes, Eating disorders - anorexia, bulimia, Fertility/infertility, Gastrointestinal, Hypertension, Obesity, Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., Cell culture, DNA sequencing, Statistical methods, GWAS, Mass spectrometry, Medical imaging, Metabolomics, Microarrays, NMR, Proteomics, RNA, Biological samples -e.g. blood, cell lines, saliva, etc., Biomarkers - e.g. cotinine, fatty acids, haemoglobin, etc., Hormones - cortisol, IGF, thyroid, Liver function, Metabolic - metabolism, Nutrition - breast feeding, diet, Puberty, Sex differences, Statistical methods, Whole genome sequencing, BMI, Bones (and joints), Development, Genetic epidemiology, Genetics, Genomics, Genome wide association study, Growth

B3853 - Is exposure to toxic metals impacting the health of children and young adults in England - 14/04/2022

B number: 
B3853
Principal applicant name: 
Seif Shaheen | Queen Mary University of London (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Caroline Taylor, Dr Ovnair Sepai, Dr Ian Mudway, Dr Alexander Griffiths, Dr Tim Marczylo, Prof Chris Griffiths, Prof Seeromanie Harding, Prof John Wright , Prof Amanda Waterman, Professor John Holloway
Title of project: 
Is exposure to toxic metals impacting the health of children and young adults in England?
Proposal summary: 

Pollutants such as lead, cadmium and arsenic potentially pose a threat to our health, even at low levels of exposure. Exposure before birth and in childhood may have particularly important damaging effects on the developing lungs, brain and cardiovascular system. In this project we plan to measure these pollutants in maternal urine samples taken during pregnancy and in blood samples from the offspring in childhood to see whether levels are higher in mothers and children who are less well off, and whether higher exposure before birth and/or in childhood is associated with poorer lung function, higher blood pressure, and lower IQ and educational attainment in childhood. If these pollutants are affecting children's health, they might be contributing to the poorer health seen in less well off children.

Impact of research: 
Aetiological analyses of prenatal/childhood toxic metal exposure versus child health outcomes may provide novel findings - it is thought that even low levels of lead exposure could have important health effects. Findings from this project will fill an important gap in public health knowledge, relevant to social health inequalities. The resulting database of toxic metal exposures in G0 mothers and G1 offspring could be a valuable resource for future researchers interested in studying toxic metals in relation to other health outcomes.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 25 March, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 4 April, 2022
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Respiratory - asthma, Statistical methods, Nutrition - breast feeding, diet

B4037 - UK LLC Comparing the burden of long COVID in the community as measured by self-report and electronic health records - 01/04/2022

B number: 
B4037
Principal applicant name: 
Dylan Williams | UCL
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
UK LLC: Comparing the burden of long COVID in the community as measured by self-report and electronic health records:
Proposal summary: 

Information can be obtained from ALSPAC (B number folder) or the UK LLC on request

Impact of research: 
Information can be obtained from ALSPAC (B number folder) or the UK LLC on request
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 30 March, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 30 March, 2022
Keywords: 
Immunology

B4036 - UK LLC Are immune-mediated diseases risk factors for long COVID - 01/04/2022

B number: 
B4036
Principal applicant name: 
Dylan Williams | UCL
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
UK LLC: Are immune-mediated diseases risk factors for long COVID?
Proposal summary: 

Information can be obtained from ALSPAC (B number folder) or the UK LLC on request

Impact of research: 
Information can be obtained from ALSPAC (B number folder) or the UK LLC on request
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 30 March, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 30 March, 2022
Keywords: 
Immunology

B4030 - Does religiosity promote cooperative behaviour - 24/03/2022

B number: 
B4030
Principal applicant name: 
Dan Major-Smith | Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Does religiosity promote cooperative behaviour?
Proposal summary: 

This project aims to explore whether religion may plausibly cause an increase in cooperative behaviour. Several studies have found an association between religiosity and increased cooperativeness, but few studies have used large-scale longitudinal population-based studies with detailed information on potential confounders to explore this question or assess whether this may be a causal effect.

Impact of research: 
To understand in greater detail how religion may shape our behaviour, specifically regarding cooperation.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 23 March, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 24 March, 2022
Keywords: 
Anthropology, Statistical methods, Cohort studies - attrition, bias, participant engagement, ethics, Social science, Statistical methods

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