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.

Click here to export results in Word format.

B326 - ESRC Scoping project -Depositing of defined ALSPAC data sets with the UK Survey Archive - 01/01/2006

B number: 
B326
Principal applicant name: 
Mr David Carmichael (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Prof George Davey Smith (University of Bristol, UK), Dr Leon Feinstein (Institute of Education, University of London, UK), Prof Jean Golding (University of Bristol, UK), Prof Paul Gregg (University of Bath, UK)
Title of project: 
ESRC Scoping project -Depositing of defined ALSPAC data sets with the UK Survey Archive.
Proposal summary: 

This proposal has two functions: (1) to prepare 6 data sets for deposit in the Archive with appropriate documentation

(Phase 1), (2) to document other data sets and calculate the relevant costing for future data deposition (Phase 2). It is

hoped that subsequent use by the social science community will prove the worth of the first 6 data sets in regard to both

analyses across cohorts, and also over time within the ALSPAC population.

Date proposal received: 
Sunday, 1 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Sunday, 1 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Social Science, Stress, Social Conditions
Primary keyword: 

B278 - Identification of genetic roots of coronary artery disease by combining stepwise genome wide association studies with trascriptomic and functional genomic investigation of relevant genetic variants - 01/12/2005

B number: 
B278
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Nilesh Samani (University of Leicester, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Identification of genetic roots of coronary artery disease by combining stepwise genome wide association studies with trascriptomic and functional genomic investigation of relevant genetic variants,
Proposal summary: 

The main scientific and technological objectives of this highly focused RTD project are:

* to carry out well-integrated genome-wide and functional genomics research in order:

o to identify genetic risk markers for CAD

o to link these with transcriptome data and cellular function in atherosclerosis

o to discover new candidates and systems for drug development

o to exploit Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in partnership with SMEs and the pharmaceutical industry

o to develop integrated novel information systems

* to establish a world-leading European consortium on the basis of genuine and equal partnership between leading clinical centres, academic groups, cell biologists, bioinformaticians and biostatisticians to provide further knowledge into the genetic basis of CAD for the benefit of members of the European Community.

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 1 December, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 1 December, 2005
Keywords: 
Cardiovascular , Genetics
Primary keyword: 

B276 - The use of homeopathic products in childhood - 01/12/2005

B number: 
B276
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Elizabeth Thompson (University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
The use of homeopathic products in childhood.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 1 December, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 1 December, 2005
Keywords: 
Primary keyword: 

B356 - Schools Project Extension - 01/11/2005

B number: 
B356
Principal applicant name: 
Mr Stephen Witt (Department of Children, Families and Schools, London, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Schools Project Extension.
Proposal summary: 

The aim of the ALSPAC study is to identify the biological, physical, genetic, psychological and pedagogical factors that influence health and development. The Department's contributions are to ensure that the study also covers the following key social and educational research themes:

1. the engagement of young people with learning

2. 14-19 system reform and the learning pathways and experience of 15-17 year olds

3. sub-group differences in achievement, social engagement and attitudes to learning and employment

4. wider skills and attributes: academic, psychological, behavioural and personal development

5. the relative influences of families, schools, peers and cultural values on decisions, behaviour and engagement at 16/17

Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 1 November, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 1 November, 2005
Keywords: 
Education
Primary keyword: 

B275 - Fish consumption mercury omega-3 fatty acids and neurocognitive outcomes - 01/11/2005

B number: 
B275
Principal applicant name: 
Capt Joseph Hibbeln (National Institutes of Health, USA)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Jean Golding (University of Bristol, UK), Dr Norman Salem (National Institutes of Health, USA)
Title of project: 
Fish consumption, mercury, omega-3 fatty acids and neurocognitive outcomes.
Proposal summary: 

The relative risks of potentially toxic compounds found in seafood compared to the potentially beneficial nutrients rich in seafood is a significant public health issue and has been the subject of an US Federal Advisory in 2004, which limits seafood in pregnancy. A major impetus for conducting this research is the finding from the ALSPAC cohort that compliance with this advisory appears to be associated with greater risks of the specific harms (e.g. suboptimal verbal development) it was designed to prevent. This prior analysis, conducted as a collaboration between LMBB/NIAAA/ NIH and ALSPAC, compared dietary intakes during pregnancy estimated by food frequency questionnaire data, to childhood developmental outcome data. The findings of lower than expected verbal IQ and other suboptimal outcomes such as poor fine motor development and adverse socialization among the cohort, do not appear to be attributable to confounding variables. This increased risk of suboptimal developmental outcomes may be due to deficiencies in nutrients uniquely rich in seafood, potentially the long chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acids (DHA). Several lines of evidence indicate that insufficient dietary intakes of EPA and DHA increase the risk of neurodevelopmental impairments. Among these are that DHA is selectively concentrated into neuronal tissues and the proliferation of neuronal dendrites and synapses is substantially enhanced by DHA. Since the main source of DHA-EPA for humans comes from the dietary intake of fish & seafood (or fish oil dietary supplements) the evaluation of food frequency data from the ALSPAC cohort indicates that pregnant women need a sufficient intake of DHA-EPA in order to prevent increasing risk of suboptimal outcomes among their offspring. Another nutrient uniquely rich in seafood, selenium has a protective effect against mercury in utero in animal experiments. As selenium is fairly high in most marine fish/seafood, there could be a natural offsetting of the dietary ingestion of methylmercury present in marine fish/seafood versus the selenium present in the marine fish/seafood. Selenium is thought to bind with and detoxify methyl-mercury and a greater ratio of methyl-mercury to selenium is thought to indicate that the primary protective mechanism against methyl-mercury toxicity has been overwhelmed. However, the impact of this relationship in humans needs to be evaluated as previous research on mercury or methylmercury may be inherently flawed as selenium was not simultaneously considered with the mercury.

Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 1 November, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 1 November, 2005
Keywords: 
Nutrition, Cognition
Primary keyword: 

B273 - An ESRC Centre An examination of the impact of family socio-economic status on outcomes in late childhood and adolescence - 01/11/2005

B number: 
B273
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Paul Gregg (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Simon Burgess (University of Bristol, UK), Prof Debbie A Lawlor (University of Bristol, UK), Prof Carol Propper (University of Bristol, UK), Prof Frank Windmeijer (University of Bristol, UK), Prof George Davey Smith (University of Bristol, UK), Prof Fiona Steele (University of Bristol, UK), Prof Jonathan Sterne (University of Bristol, UK), Prof Andy Ness (University of Bristol, UK), Dr Leon Feinstein (Institute of Education, University of London, UK), Prof Glyn Lewis (University of Bristol, UK), Prof Marcus Munafo (University of Bristol, UK)
Title of project: 
An ESRC Centre: An examination of the impact of family socio-economic status on outcomes in late childhood and adolescence.
Proposal summary: 

To chart the relationship of these outcomes with socio-economic status of the family of origin of a large population

based sample of young people currently living in the UK.

To understand the complementarities between different aspects of children's and adolescent's lives at one point of time

and across time, examining lives from birth to adolescence.

To study the pathways by which socio-economic status of parents affects outcomes for their children. These pathways

include the role of peer groups, friendships and neighbourhoods; schools; psychological motivations; parental mental

health; family (mal)functioning and parental behaviours early in children's lives.

To compare the development of current adolescents in the UK with their US counterparts and those in the UK of earlier

generations.

To undertake methodological innovation in the analysis of large scale survey data, including the estimation of nonnested

hierarchial data; the analysis of the impact of missing data and the use of imputation techniques; and the

exploration of the use of biomedical, including genetic, information as instruments for observed outcomes in early/middle

childhood.

To disseminate our research to the academic community in a wide range of disciplines; to inform policy makers and aid

the development of information based policy in the fields of child and adolescent development, family, educational and

neighbourhood policy; and to achieve a step change in the usage of the unique Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and

Children (ALSPAC) data resource within the social science community in the UK and overseas.

Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 1 November, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 1 November, 2005
Keywords: 
Parenting
Primary keyword: 

B268 - The environmental determinants of refractive error - 01/11/2005

B number: 
B268
Principal applicant name: 
Miss Cathy E M Williams (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
The environmental determinants of refractive error.
Proposal summary: 

To test already postulated relationships between the environmental exposures and refractive error development in the ALSPAC cohort, using existing data (non-cycloplegic autorefraction

To obtain axial length measurements on the ALSPAC cohort of childrenat the age of 15 and use these data to confirm/modify the results from phase

To carry out cross cohort comparisons with another cohort study that is dedicated to the development of myopia (the Singapore Cohort study Of Risk factors for MyopiA- SCORM) and has comparable, wide-ranging data.

Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 1 November, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 1 November, 2005
Keywords: 
Environmental
Primary keyword: 

B267 - Wellcome Advanced Training Fellowship - 01/11/2005

B number: 
B267
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Imogen Rogers (University of Brighton, Brighton)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Wellcome Advanced Training Fellowship.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 1 November, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 1 November, 2005
Keywords: 
Miscellaneous
Primary keyword: 

B262 - Alcohol consumption and the outcomes of pregnancy - 01/10/2005

B number: 
B262
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Margaret Barrow (University Hospitals Leicester, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Alcohol consumption and the outcomes of pregnancy.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Saturday, 1 October, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 1 October, 2005
Keywords: 
Alcohol, Pregnancy
Primary keyword: 

B271 - ALSPAC and cannabis use and mental health - 01/10/2005

B number: 
B271
Principal applicant name: 
Prof David Nutt (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
ALSPAC and cannabis use and mental health.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Saturday, 1 October, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 1 October, 2005
Keywords: 
Mental Health, Substance Use
Primary keyword: 

B269 - Recurrence of postpartum depression - 01/10/2005

B number: 
B269
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Jonathan Evans (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Recurrence of postpartum depression.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Saturday, 1 October, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 1 October, 2005
Keywords: 
Depression
Primary keyword: 

B221 - The prevalence associations and impact of developmental co-ordination disorder within ALSPAC - 01/10/2005

B number: 
B221
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Raghu Lingam (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
The prevalence, associations and impact of developmental co-ordination disorder within ALSPAC.
Proposal summary: 

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is an under recognised cause of major disability in childhood. Due to a lack of robust epidemiological evidence there is a lack of awareness of how DCD affects children and limited evidence to support existing intervention strategies.

The aim of this study is to enhance the evidence base regarding the potential impact of DCD on the lives of children in order to inform recommendations for service provision, leading to the development of targeted multidisciplinary interventions to reduce physical, psychological and social disability. The proposed "Complex Intervention" will be based on a systematic review of the literature, a quantitative analysis of a large existing dataset, and a qualitative investigation of the experience of a group of adolescents with DCD and their parents.

Date proposal received: 
Saturday, 1 October, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 1 October, 2005
Keywords: 
Development, Motor Co-ordination
Primary keyword: 

B446 - Systematic genotyping in central appetite-regulatory pathways for association with childhood obesity risk - 16/09/2005

B number: 
B446
Principal applicant name: 
Ken Ong (University of Cambridge, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Nick Wareham (University of Cambridge, UK)
Title of project: 
Systematic genotyping in central appetite-regulatory pathways for association with childhood obesity risk
Proposal summary: 

No outline received

Date proposal received: 
Friday, 16 September, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 16 September, 2005
Keywords: 
Primary keyword: 

B264 - Pathways to cannabis use and from cannabis use to harm amongst young people - 01/09/2005

B number: 
B264
Principal applicant name: 
Prof John Macleod (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Matt Hickman (University of Bristol, UK)
Title of project: 
Pathways to cannabis use and from cannabis use to harm amongst young people.
Proposal summary: 

Specific aims of this project are to:

1. Fully exploit data already collected in ALSPAC to investigate trajectories to use of cannabis and other drugs in late adolescence and early adulthood and adverse psychological, educational and social outcomes associated with these pathways.

2. Collect new data on ALSPAC children in late adolescence and early adulthood so that the resource has data on the whole of childhood - from before birth to the onset of adulthood allowing investigation of effects of exposures both cumulatively and during critical time periods, such as pregnancy, infancy, puberty and adolescence, on outcomes measured in late adolescence and around the onset of adulthood.

3. Obtain consent for and establish mechanisms of linkage between individual ALSPAC study participants and routine sources of data on educational, social and health outcomes that may be influenced by exposure to cannabis and other drugs.

The project will realise these aims through meeting the following objectives:

* Objective 1:To obtain detailed and objective measurement of frequency, quantity, route of administration, form of drug used and dependence on cannabis and other drugs through a clinic based assessment at age 17 (including collection of biological samples) and a postal questionnaire at age 19

* Objective 2: To measure psychotic like symptoms in a clinic based assessment at age 17 and a postal questionnaire at age 19.

* Objective 3: To measure involvement in antisocial and other risky behaviour, sibling drug use, social position and labour market participation through a postal questionnaire at age 19.

* Objective 4: To develop the methodology necessary to allow individual linkage to routine health and social outcome data and to extend linkage already established (with parental consent) to educational outcome data to these other data sources after obtaining individual consent at an age 17 clinic.

* Objective 5: To examine direct associations between currently established candidate polymorphisms and candidate polymorphisms that emerge during the lifetime of the project on trajectories and level of cannabis use, and to use such polymorphisms as unconfounded measures of cannabis intake to look at associations between cannabis use and related harm.

* Objective 6: To examine possible gene-environment interactions involving such genotypes in relation to the outcomes considered in this project.

* Objective 7: To use ALSPAC data already collected along with data collected as described above to clarify causal pathways to onset and progression of cannabis use, to use of other drugs and to the adverse outcomes associated with such use, attributable risks of key causal exposures and most promising targets for effective intervention.

* Objective 8: To establish a resource that will allow consideration of these questions in relation to adverse health and social outcomes apparent beyond the lifetime of the project.

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 1 September, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 1 September, 2005
Keywords: 
Substance Use
Primary keyword: 

B261 - Diet in relation to increasing body fatness in childhood - 01/09/2005

B number: 
B261
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Pauline Emmett (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Kate Northstone (University of Bristol, UK)
Title of project: 
Diet in relation to increasing body fatness in childhood.
Proposal summary: 

Childhood obesity is a major problem in westernised countries. It strongly tracks with adult obesity, a major modifiable risk factor for cancer. Higher levels of body fatness are associated with Westernised life styles of which diet is a potentially modifiable component. Studies that have concentrated on nutrient-obesity associations have often failed to show consistent relationships. The study of dietary patterns over time may be more informative, as foods or nutrients are not eaten in isolation.

This project will use data collected by the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), a large prospective cohort study. Dietary information has been collected on several occasions throughout childhood using food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) and using 3-day diet diaries at 10 and 13 years of age. Dietary patterns assessed by principal components analysis and cluster analysis will be considered as the primary exposures. Total body fatness and lean tissue mass have been assessed at 9, 11, 13 and 15 years of age by Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA). We will investigate the relationships between dietary patterns throughout childhood and the fatness of the children, with particular focus on the children who increase in fatness between 9 and 15 years.

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 1 September, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 1 September, 2005
Keywords: 
Diet, Obesity
Primary keyword: 

B259 - Reducing emotional distress in adolescence the role of the school in influencing vulnerability and resilience - 01/09/2005

B number: 
B259
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Judi Kidger (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Prof David Gunnell (University of Bristol, UK), Prof Glyn Lewis (University of Bristol, UK), Dr Jonathan Evans (University of Bristol, UK), Dr Jon Heron (University of Bristol, UK)
Title of project: 
Reducing emotional distress in adolescence: the role of the school in influencing vulnerability and resilience.
Proposal summary: 

The proposed study is part of a wider application to the MRC for a postdoctoral Special Research Training Fellowship in Health Services and Health of the Public Research. The overall theme of the application is the causes of emotional distress in early to mid adolescence and the support needs of those who experience this, with a particular focus on the school context, in terms of risk factors and potential avenues of support. The aim of this particular study is to assess incidence and school-related risk factors for deliberate self-harm in 14-15 year olds in ALSPAC. The young people in the sample have already been asked during their clinic interviews at age 11 about episodes of self-harm and suicidal thoughts (frequency, timing and nature of episodes). The children were asked the following questions: (a) "Have you thought of killing yourself?" (b) "Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose?" (c) "Have you ever made plans to kill yourself?" (d) "Have you actually tried to kill yourself?". I propose to build on this data, by including several questions in the questionnaires to be sent out to the ALSPAC teenagers at age 14-15 years.

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 1 September, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 1 September, 2005
Keywords: 
Education
Primary keyword: 

B257 - Socioeconomic patterning of cognitive function in children - 01/09/2005

B number: 
B257
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Bruna Galobardes (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Socioeconomic patterning of cognitive function in children.
Proposal summary: 

Background. Cognitive function and intelligence quotient (IQ) have been related with adult mortality in some but not all studies. IQ was not related to coronary heart disease or stroke after the age of 651 and childhood IQ was not related to mortality in women2. Adjustment for socioeconomic circumstances partly explains this association3. Furthermore, childhood cognitive ability could determine school performance and thus, influence later socioeconomic position. Research in this area is limited and ASLPAC offers a unique opportunity to investigate whether cognitive function is already socially patterned at a young age.

Objective. The objective of this project is to investigate whether cognitive function in childhood is socially distributed, using different aspects of cognitive function and different measures of socioeconomic position.

Main variables for this project. We will need variables measuring cognitive function (e.g. McArthur Communicative Development Inventory at 20 months, Pre-School Language Scales (PLS-3), McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities at 36 months, etc.), family background details, and the primary carer's verbal functioning (Mill Hill Vocabulary Scale), are and individual socioeconomic position indicators, socio demographic characteristics and school characteristics.

Statistical analysis. We will assess the social patterning of cognitive function in the children, with particular attention to using different indicators of life course socioeconomic position to describe this distribution. We will conduct multiple regression analysis. Sensitivity analyses will be carried out to explore the degree to which misclassification of both exposures and confounders could influence the observed effect estimates.

References.

1. Hart CL, Taylor MD, Smith GD, et al. Childhood IQ and cardiovascular disease in adulthood: prospective observational study linking the Scottish Mental Survey 1932 and the Midspan studies. Soc Sci Med 2004;59:2131-8.

2. Kuh D, Richards M, Hardy R, Butterworth S, Wadsworth ME. Childhood cognitive ability and deaths up until middle age: a post-war birth cohort study. Int J Epidemiol 2004;33:408-13.

3. Huisman M, Kunst AE, Mackenbach JP. Intelligence and socioeconomic inequalities in health. Lancet 2005;366:807-8.

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 1 September, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 1 September, 2005
Keywords: 
Cognitive Function
Primary keyword: 

B256 - The origins and outcomes of persisting phonological impairment - 01/09/2005

B number: 
B256
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Susan Roulstone (University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
The origins and outcomes of persisting phonological impairment.
Proposal summary: 

* To establish prevalence figures for SI at ages 5 and 8 years.

* To identify factors that are predictive of SI at ages 5 and 8 years.

* To describe the profiles of children with SI at 5 and 8 years in terms of language skills,

behaviour, self esteem and the impact on the child's education and social relations

* To investigate the existence and nature of subgroups of speech problems.

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 1 September, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 1 September, 2005
Keywords: 
Speech & Language
Primary keyword: 

B410 - Early determinants of dietary salt intake The association of sodium intake in infancy with blood pressure in later life Maternal iron status during pregnancy and offspring blood pressure - 01/08/2005

B number: 
B410
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Marie-Jo Brion (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Andy Ness (Not used 0, Not used 0), Prof Debbie A Lawlor (University of Bristol, UK), Dr Sam Leary (University of Bristol, UK)
Title of project: 
Early determinants of dietary salt intake. The association of sodium intake in infancy with blood pressure in later life. Maternal iron status during pregnancy and offspring blood pressure
Proposal summary: 

This is a proposal for analysis of the ALSPAC data - and has 5 different research questions:

1.Does dietary sodium intake track from infancy through to age 7? In particular is

dietary sodium intake in the first year of life strongly associated with intake at age

7?

2.Is dietary sodium intake at age 7 greater among children who have experienced

diarrhoea, vomiting and/or dehydration in the first year of life than those who have

not experienced these illnesses? Is there an association between the number of

episodes of diarrhoea/vomiting/dehydration and dietary sodium intake at age 7?

3.Is infant feeding (ever breast fed and duration of breast feeding) related to dietary

sodium intake at age 7?

4.Is birth weight related to dietary sodium intake at age 7?

5.Is childhood socioeconomic position related to dietary sodium intake at age 7?

Date proposal received: 
Monday, 1 August, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 1 August, 2005
Keywords: 
Cardiovascular , Diet, Eating disorders
Primary keyword: 

B254 - Assessment of future ovarian reserve in childhood - 01/08/2005

B number: 
B254
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Hany Lashen (University of Sheffield, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Assessment of future ovarian reserve in childhood.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Monday, 1 August, 2005
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 1 August, 2005
Keywords: 
Fertility/Infertility
Primary keyword: 

Pages