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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B3479 - The determinants and burden of gastrointestinal infection a tale of two generations - 10/03/2020

B number: 
B3479
Principal applicant name: 
Mara Violato | Health Economics Research Centre, University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Daniel Hungerford, Professor Miren Iturriza-Gomara, Professor Noel McCarthy, Professor Benjamin Barr
Title of project: 
The determinants and burden of gastrointestinal infection: a tale of two generations?
Proposal summary: 

Gastrointestinal infections are common, with 1 in 4 people in the UK population experiencing an episode each year, which causes an estimated annual cost to the individuals, the National Health Service and the wider economy of £1.5 billion. This research will take a life-course approach to the assessment of the causes and consequences of gastrointestinal infections in the community, from early childhood into early adulthood – continuing into the next generation (ALSPAC-G2 study: Children of the Children of the 90s). This will allow us to provide important insights into changes in causes and consequences of gastrointestinal infections across the individual life-course but also over time at the population level. The findings can then inform public health interventions to reduce the burden of gastrointestinal infections, especially among the most vulnerable groups.

Impact of research: 
Greater understanding of risk factors for and the burden of gastrointestinal infections in the community across the individual life-course but also over time at the population level. The first evaluation of the impact of paediatric rotavirus vaccination on mild community diarrhoea in the UK. Guidance for developing community based/led gastrointestinal infection surveillance platforms.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 6 March, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 7 March, 2020
Keywords: 
Health Economics, Gastrointestinal, Statistical methods, Health economics, life-course approach, infections

B3480 - The Maternal Diet Diversity Index during Pregnancy and Allergy outcomes in the child - 10/03/2020

B number: 
B3480
Principal applicant name: 
Carina Venter | University of Colorado/Childrens Hospital Colorado (USA)
Co-applicants: 
Dana Dabelea
Title of project: 
The Maternal Diet Diversity Index during Pregnancy and Allergy outcomes in the child
Proposal summary: 

What mothers eat during pregnancy may affect the development of allergy in their babies and children. This study will use data from two cohorts: the Healthy Start cohort and the ALSPAC cohort. The study will learn if a novel comprehensive measure of maternal diet during pregnancy affects development of eczema, food allergy, seasonal allergies/hay fever/allergic rhinitis and asthma in chidden. The new knowledge will help families and clinicians to eventually prevent the onset and progression of allergy.

Impact of research: 
This study is at the cutting edge of advancing our understanding of the critical role of maternal dietary intake in the etiology of childhood allergic diseases. Understanding these factors will reveal what kind of maternal diet is associated with allergy outcomes in offspring. The hope is that this study will set the stage for randomized controlled trials in pregnancy for the prevention of allergic disease in offsprings well as further studies to support the possible mechanisms of action.
Date proposal received: 
Saturday, 7 March, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 7 March, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Allergy, Statistical methods, Allergy

B3477 - At the intersection of autism and psychosis An investigation of causal pathways developmental trajectories and phenotypic outc - 03/03/2020

B number: 
B3477
Principal applicant name: 
Dheeraj Rai | Centre of Academic Mental Health, University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Miss Christina Dardani, Professor Stan Zammit, Dr Sarah Sullivan, Dr Hannah Jones
Title of project: 
At the intersection of autism and psychosis: An investigation of causal pathways, developmental trajectories and phenotypic outc
Proposal summary: 

Autism is a chronic condition, arising early in childhood and characterized by two main symptoms: difficulties in social communication/interactions and repetitive behaviours. Sometimes, people with autism also have psychotic illness (e.g. hearing voices or feeling paranoid). The reasons this happens is still unknown. There are several possible explanations:
a. Specific autism-related symptoms, such as repetitive behaviours and restricted interests, might be risk factors for developing psychosis later in life,
b. Genetics of autism might predispose the affected individuals to psychosis later in life,
c. Adverse life events, frequently occurring in people with autism, such as stigmatisation or bullying, might lead to psychosis.
We will investigate these explanations using genetic, clinic and questionnaire data from the ALSPAC cohort. Understanding the reasons why some people with autism develop psychosis is an important step towards developing appropriate prevention strategies and offer adequate psychosocial support to the affected individuals and their families.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 2 March, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 3 March, 2020
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Developmental disorders - autism, GWAS, Genetic epidemiology

B3476 - Validating the CIS-R for use as an online tool - 06/03/2020

B number: 
B3476
Principal applicant name: 
Hannah Sallis | University of Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Dr Rebecca Pearson
Title of project: 
Validating the CIS-R for use as an online tool
Proposal summary: 

The Clinical Interview Schedule – Revised (CIS-R) is a structured diagnostic measure developed from the Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS), a standardised interview designed to assess common mental disorders among community settings. The CIS was designed for use by clinical interviewers and required expert judgement to determine psychopathology. The CIS was standardised to enable interviewers without this expert knowledge to administer, the resulting CIS-R can thus be self-completed and returns results comparable to those from standardized interviews. The CIS-R has been validated across a number of populations and ages, and studies suggest that the instrument remains valid across a number of cultural settings and age groups. To date, little work has been done to validate the CIS-R administered using different modes of assessment.

Previously the CIS-R has been administered to ALSPAC participants via a computerised assessment during clinic time. To minimise participant burden during clinic time and maximise response rate to the CIS-R, it has been suggested that the assessment could be completed online, outside of the clinic. The CIS-R has not currently been validated as an online task, therefore we propose to investigate whether responses to this measure differ according to the setting in which it is completed, and whether it remains a valid diagnostic measure when completed online outside of the clinic setting.

Impact of research: 
If found to be valid, the CIS-R could be assessed online in future waves of data collection to help minimise participant burden during clinic days, and will also provide a more flexible approach for obtaining reliable diagnoses of common mental health disorders.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 28 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 2 March, 2020
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Statistical methods, Psychology - personality

B3475 - Teachers psychological processes - 05/03/2020

B number: 
B3475
Principal applicant name: 
Lisa Kim | University of York (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Irena Buric, TBD
Title of project: 
Teachers' psychological processes
Proposal summary: 

Despite the common belief that teachers can impact various aspects of students' lives, the empirical evidence on the breadth and strength of their influence is relatively unclear. This project aims to examine the relative strength of the influence of teachers' characteristics and behaviours as perceived by multiple raters (i.e., teachers themselves, students, and parents) on multiple experiences and outcomes associated with the teacher (e.g., job satisfaction) and their students (e.g., academic achievement).

Impact of research: 
The project will provide fundamental understanding into which teachers’ characteristics are most associated with various aspects of teachers' and students’ experiences and outcomes. Furthermore, the longitudinal effects of being instructed by a teacher will be examined. The findings can serve as a basis for designing and implementing prevention and intervention strategies in order to promote teachers’ occupational well-being, their performance, and quality of education in general.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 25 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 25 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Social Science, Statistical methods, Psychology - personality, Social science, Statistical methods

B3474 - Exploration of the relationship between social cognition and PTSD within the ALSPAC cohort - 26/02/2020

B number: 
B3474
Principal applicant name: 
Stan Zammit | University of Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Dr Chantelle Wiseman
Title of project: 
Exploration of the relationship between social cognition and PTSD within the ALSPAC cohort
Proposal summary: 

Social cognition has been hypothesised to be important in the development of PTSD (1). Previous research has shown that individuals with PTSD have a variety of social cognitive deficits (2), but whether these existed prior to the development of PTSD has not yet been determined. Furthermore, it is not clear whether social cognitive deficits increase risk of trauma exposure, whether trauma causes social cognitive deficits, and whether social cognitive deficits mediate or moderate the relationship between trauma and PTSD

Impact of research: 
This work, in combination with the clinical study that Chantelle is also doing as part of her PhD, aims to determine whether social cognitive deficits predict PTSD and response to therapy, and whether such deficits are causal in nature. If so, then this could inform the development of interventions aimed to address deficits in social cognition as part of the approach to treating PTSD. Direct impacts form this work specifically will likely be research related (publications and presentations).
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 25 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 25 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Mental health, Statistical methods, Development, PTSD; Social cognition

B3473 - Metabolomic quality control and association analyses - 24/02/2020

B number: 
B3473
Principal applicant name: 
Nicholas Timpson | MRC IEU (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Mr Matthew Lee, Dr Laura Corbin, Dr David Hughes, Dr Kaitlin Wade
Title of project: 
Metabolomic quality control and association analyses
Proposal summary: 

Metabolites are the ultimate end-point of a biological process and are therefore seen as a link between genotype and phenotype. Assigning individual metabolite changes to diseases is difficult because of the complexity of their interrelationships. Prior to analysis quality control of metabolomics data is required. We have developed a package that automates these quality control steps. We will use the raw metabolomic data as a use case for our package.

Body composition is known to affect metabolite concentrations. These changes may be implicated in disease development. Following quality control we will use the metabolomic data to investigate the relationship between metabolites and different body composition traits.

Impact of research: 
Evaluation of metabolite quality control package. Greater understanding of the relationship between metabolites and body composition.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 24 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 24 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Obesity, Metabolomics, Statistical methods, BMI, Genetics, Mendelian randomisation, metabolomics

B3472 - Are knee DXA biomarkers related to lower limb biomechanics and gait in women with and without knee osteoarthritis - 05/03/2020

B number: 
B3472
Principal applicant name: 
Aliya Sarmanova | Musculoskeletal Research Unit, Translational Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Professor Jonathan Tobias, Professor Nicholas Timpson, Professor Richie Gill
Title of project: 
Are knee DXA biomarkers related to lower limb biomechanics and gait in women with and without knee osteoarthritis?
Proposal summary: 
Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 19 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Sunday, 23 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Bone disorders - arthritis, osteoporosis, Computer simulations/modelling/algorithms, Medical imaging, Statistical methods, Bones (and joints)

B3470 - predicting asthma beyond childhood - 18/02/2020

B number: 
B3470
Principal applicant name: 
ABDAL JABBAR FARHAN | SOUTHAMPTON UNIVERSITY
Co-applicants: 
S. HASAN ARSHAD
Title of project: 
predicting asthma beyond childhood
Proposal summary: 

using same principle of pediatric asthma risk scores to predict asthma in childhood I have created risk factors to predict asthma at age 18 and 26 years old

Impact of research: 
Novel finding can help to tackle the significant risk factors of adult asthma early in childhood.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 18 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 18 February, 2020
Keywords: 
ALLERGY, PULMONOLOGY, Respiratory - asthma, Statistical methods, Statistical methods

B3465 - Genetic and Environmental Components of Parental Effects on Child Physical and Mental Health - 18/02/2020

B number: 
B3465
Principal applicant name: 
Pak C. Sham | The University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
Co-applicants: 
Justin Tubbs, Talia Wu, Saloni Dattani, Yiming Li, PhD
Title of project: 
Genetic and Environmental Components of Parental Effects on Child Physical and Mental Health
Proposal summary: 

Ultimately, the similarity between parents and their children can come from two sources: nature and nurture. Recently, methods have been introduced to identify the effects of “genetic nurture” - effects of the parentally-provided environment which can be explained by the parents’ genes through their influences on parental behavior (rather than through genetic transmission to their children). We have developed an extension of these methods which may allow us to find specific genetic factors which make up this effect, for nuclear families with genotype data available on at least 2 members (e.g., sibling pairs or parent-offspring pairs). This method involves imputing missing parental genotypes from the available genotypes of each nuclear family. Because of its detailed longitudinal phenotype data and genotyped mothers and children, ALSPAC is an ideal dataset to examine these effects across a number of traits important to human health and disease. The results of this study will better help us understand the important role of the parental environment in childhood development and identify specific genetic and environmental risk factors (and their interaction) for physical and mental health outcomes in children.

Impact of research: 
First, introducing and applying our novel missing genotype imputation routine and model will enhance the ability of other researchers to more fully characterize maternal and paternal effects of genetic and environmental origins across traits relevant to human health. Second, our analysis of longitudinal mental health trajectories will improve our understanding of the risk and protective factors for internalizing and externalizing disorders across development by identifying specific genetic loci and aggregate parental genetic effects, and their interaction with known risk factors.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 7 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 18 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Mental health, Obesity, Computer simulations/modelling/algorithms, GWAS, Statistical methods, BMI, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Environment - enviromental exposure, pollution, Genetic epidemiology, Genome wide association study, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc., Parenting, Psychology - personality, Statistical methods

B3467 - SoCial Reserve as buffer against psychosis development a psychological and molecular investigation SCORE - 03/03/2020

B number: 
B3467
Principal applicant name: 
Eva Velthorst | Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (United States)
Co-applicants: 
Stanley Zammit, PhD, Hannah Jones, PhD, Avi Reichenberg, PhD, Sven Sandin, PhD, Niamh Mullins, PhD, Paul O'Reilly, PhD, Raquel Gur, PhD, Ruben Gur
Title of project: 
SoCial Reserve as buffer against psychosis development: a psychological and molecular investigation (SCORE)
Proposal summary: 

Social withdrawal (SocW) – defined as reduced social interaction – is a key feature of psychotic disorders and multiple other psychiatric outcomes. Despite growing recognition of its negative consequences, SocW remains one of the least studied human traits, and its underlying mechanisms remain subject of wide speculation. The overall goal of this project is to examine elucidate the role of SocW in the development of psychosis.

By combining clinical data with increasingly powerful ‘genetic risk scores’ (i.e. the sum of risk genes that have shown to be associated with a behavioral trait), we are now able to test whether SocW is a cause or merely a consequence of symptoms in psychosis development. Using the UK Biobank we will create a powerful genetic risk score for SocW, and use this score to examine the role of SocW in psychosis in two large developmental cohorts: The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (PNC). Jointly, these studies followed nearly 16,000 young individuals from childhood to young adulthood, through ages encompassing typical onset of and peak onset age of psychosis. In ALSPAC, we will also test the association between changes in psychotic symptoms and changes in SocW behaviorally, and explore the effects of SocW and established environmental risk in the path to psychosis.

Overall, we aspire to better understand the well-established association between SocW and psychosis, determine critical windows during which individuals may be more or less prone to the influence of SocW, and facilitate much-needed preventive targeted therapies.

Impact of research: 
This project will fill important gaps in our knowledge about genetic underpinnings of social withdrawal, and the (causal) role of social withdrawal in pathways to psychosis, and other severe psychiatric disorders.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 12 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 17 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Genetics, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., GWAS, Genetic epidemiology

B3469 - Menstruation and womens health - 17/02/2020

B number: 
B3469
Principal applicant name: 
Gemma Sharp | MRC IEU, UoB
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Menstruation and women's health
Proposal summary: 

There has been remarkably little research on women's experience of menstruation from a population health perspective, despite menstruation and pre-menstrual symptoms having wide-reaching consequences for women's physical and mental health. We need a better understanding of the biological (e.g. hormone levels, epigenetics) and lifestyle factors (e.g. smoking, alcohol, diet) that might predict and/or causally affect menstrual experiences (e.g. cycle length, heaviness, regularity, pain and premenstrual mood). This better understanding could inform ways to predict who is at risk of poor experiences, and develop strategies to prevent or improve those experiences. We also need a better understanding of the impact of different menstrual experiences on women's physical and mental health (e.g. fatigue, depression, life satisfaction). Again, this could inform strategies to predict which women are at risk of poor outcomes and help develop preventative interventions.

Impact of research: 
This project is one of the only projects to use quantitative data to explore menstrual experiences from a population health perspective. I therefore hope that the outputs from this project (one to two research papers) will inform better ways to predict and prevent poor menstrual experiences and associated outcomes, as well as highlighting the potential for research in this area. I plan to incorporate the results into grant applications for 1) more questions to be added to the ALSPAC questionnaires regarding menstrual health (e.g. to collect data on missing symptoms such as breast soreness and effects on the digestive system); and 2) a nested study to collect serial biological samples and questionnaire data throughout the menstrual cycle and over multiple cycles to study variation in and factors associated with menstrual symptoms between and within cycles and individuals. (If these funding applications are successful, I will put in further project proposals - and of course request funds to access ALSPAC).
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 17 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 17 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Women's health, Epigenome wide association study Multivariable regression, Menstruation

B3468 - Profiling the occupational and educational trajectories of individuals with special educational needs and disabilities - 17/02/2020

B number: 
B3468
Principal applicant name: 
Julia Carroll | Coventry University (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Carlo Tramontano
Title of project: 
Profiling the occupational and educational trajectories of individuals with special educational needs and disabilities
Proposal summary: 

Educational and career decisions for school leavers are complex and influenced by multiple factors. These can include: factors at the level of an individual, such as cognitive abilities, motivations and self-beliefs; factors related to the family environment, such as parental education and beliefs, and family income; factors relating to the school setting, such as type of schooling; and finally factors relating to the broader economic and cultural context. These factors, besides having a direct and specific impact on individuals' educational and professional path, interact in complex ways. For individuals with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), education and career decisions are likely to be even more complex, and we know that career advice for individuals with SEND is often patchy and incomplete.

In order to gain a thorough understanding of the factors involved in the post-secondary educational and occupational choices of individuals with SEND, we plan to combine two complementary data analysis techniques: a variable centred approach, which examines which variables play an important role in predicting outcome across the range, and a person centred approach, which is focused on a holistic analysis of the combined effect of multilevel factors. This allows us to understand whether there are different profiles of individuals with SEND who show different post-secondary choices.

Impact of research: 
There are clear ethical and economic reasons to aim that all individuals should have the opportunity to achieve their potential and find employment that is fulfilling. This in-depth approach will allow us to understand the factors that are most important in ensuring that individuals with SEND have these opportunities. It will therefore be vital in helping us understand which individuals would most benefit from support and what types of support are most beneficial.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 13 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 17 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Social Science, Developmental disorders - autism, Cognitive impairment, Learning difficulty, Mental health, Speech/language problem, Statistical methods, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Cognition - cognitive function, Development, Parenting, Psychology - personality, Statistical methods, educational outcomes; educational attainments; career choices; occupational outcomes

B3464 - Anxiety and mood disorders in young people a multivariate approach using the ALSPAC cohort - 12/02/2020

B number: 
B3464
Principal applicant name: 
Steven Marwaha | University of Birmingham
Co-applicants: 
Professor Rachel Upthegrove, Ms Daniella Asogbon
Title of project: 
Anxiety and mood disorders in young people: a multivariate approach using the ALSPAC cohort
Proposal summary: 

In this project, we will investigate the early life psychological, environmental and biological factors that may increase the risk of developing mood disorders (broadly defined) in late adolescence and early adulthood and the associated poor outcomes. Multi-factorial analyses will examine prospective impacts of diet, sleep, parental mental health, cognitive function, inflammatory markers, metabolomics and genetic susceptibility on the earliest symptoms of mood disorder.

Impact of research: 
This research will better aid the understanding of the development and presentation of anxiety and mood disorders (broadly defined) during adolescence and has the potential to aid improved early detection of these disorders for provision early and effective treatment and the prevention of secondary disease outcomes.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 6 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 12 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Statistical methods, Statistical methods

B3466 - Investigating maternal cannabis exposure during pregnancy and epigenetic alterations in offspring - 12/02/2020

B number: 
B3466
Principal applicant name: 
Rayjean Hung | Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System (Canada)
Co-applicants: 
Dr. Julia Knight, Patrick O. McGowan
Title of project: 
Investigating maternal cannabis exposure during pregnancy and epigenetic alterations in offspring
Proposal summary: 

Cannabis is widely used for recreational and medical purposes with usage increasing rapidly following its legalization in parts of the world[1]. While there are well-documented effects of cannabis on the users themselves, the impact of its consumption during pregnancy on offspring is much less clear. Previous studies have reported that maternal cannabis usage during pregnancy is associated with lower birth weight and there is the suggestion of impaired neurodevelopment in both observational cohorts in humans and experimental studies in animal models[2-7]. However, how maternal cannabis exposure leads to these adverse health outcomes in offspring remains unclear.
Epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in regulating gene expression and cell homeostasis. Previous experimental studies showed that DNA methylation in offspring could be modified by maternal cannabis exposure[8-10]. In some cases this leads to dysregulation of the immune system of the fetus[11-13]. However, no human studies have yet been conducted, and no specific epigenetic signatures have been identified related to cannabis exposures. We hypothesize that maternal cannabis exposure during pregnancy alters the epigenetic profiles and leads to a specific epigenetic signature of the fetus through in utero exposure, and the epigenetic alterations can then lead to impaired neurodevelopment in the offspring. Therefore, we propose to investigate the association of maternal cannabis exposure around the time of pregnancy with DNA methylation profiles in offspring at birth in the ALSPC cohort.

Impact of research: 
With increasing prevalence of cannabis consumption in young adults, it is paramount to understand how cannabis exposures during pregnancy may affect fetal health, particularly neurodevelopment. In this study we focus on epigenetic alterations related to cannabis, which can provide insights on how cannabis exposure may impact the health outcome of next generation.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 7 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 12 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Addiction - e.g. alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, gambling, etc., Cognitive impairment, Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., epigenetics, Biomarkers - e.g. cotinine, fatty acids, haemoglobin, etc., Epigenetics, Offspring

B3458 - Indoor and outdoor tanning determinants in British young adults - 11/02/2020

B number: 
B3458
Principal applicant name: 
Carolina Bonilla | Departamento de Medicina Preventiva, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo (Brazil)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Indoor and outdoor tanning determinants in British young adults
Proposal summary: 

Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is the most important risk factor for skin cancer. Indoor tanning, defined as the use of an ultraviolet emission device to produce a cosmetic tan[1], has been associated with increased risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), and thus has been classified as a group I carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer[2]. Despite the risk posed by this activity, indoor tanning is common practice among young people in developed countries. A systematic review and meta-analysis of 12 studies of indoor tanning and NMSC showed that ever exposure to indoor tanning was associated with a higher risk of both, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, and that exposure at a young age (< 25 years of age) increased these risks considerably[1]. Similarly, melanoma risk was significantly higher due to sunbed use, as reported by a systematic review and meta-analysis of 27 observational studies[3]. Since indoor tanning is a potentially modifiable exposure it is of interest to examine its frequency and the characteristics of its users in the ALSPAC cohort. Up until 2017 ALSPAC did not include questions regarding indoor tanning. The exceptions are the mother’s ‘Your environment’ questionnaire administered in early gestation asking how often they had used a sun bed or lamp during their pregnancy, and the child-based KN questionnaire at 69 months old asking about ever use of sun bed or lamp and its frequency. On the other hand, ALSPAC children have been assessed with respect to natural sunlight exposure at regular intervals, although only up to the age of 12 years.
In one of the last waves of data collection for ALSPAC Young People (YP, Life@25+) we requested that a number of questions regarding indoor and outdoor tanning be included. This information is now available and we would like to investigate the determinants and the effects of tanning behaviour in the participants of ALSPAC at different life stages.

References
1. Wehner, M. R.; Shive, M. L.; Chren, M.-M.; Han, J.; Qureshi, A. A.; Linos, E. Indoor tanning and non-melanoma skin cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis. Br. Med. J. 2012, 345, 1–9, doi:10.1136/bmj.e5909.
2. El Ghissassi, F.; Baan, R.; Straif, K.; Grosse, Y.; Secretan, B.; Bouvard, V.; Benbrahim-Tallaa, L.; Guha, N.; Freeman, C.; Galichet, L.; Cogliano, V.; WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group A review of human carcinogens--part D: radiation. Lancet. Oncol. 2009, 10, 751–2.
3. Boniol, M.; Autier, P.; Boyle, P.; Gandini, S. Cutaneous melanoma attributable to sunbed use: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2012, 345, e4757–e4757, doi:10.1136/bmj.e4757.

Impact of research: 
Uncovering determinants of indoor tanning and natural sunlight exposure habits among young people in the south of England will help us better understand the importance of these predictors as risk factors for melanoma and NMSC in this population, and might provide support for the implementation of specific preventative measures. Additionally, the influence of sun exposure on health, if identified, will lead us to consider sunlight-related interventions in order to improve the population’s wellbeing.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 4 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 11 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Addiction - e.g. alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, gambling, etc., Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Mental health, GWAS, Statistical methods, sun exposure

B3462 - INFLUENCE OF EARLY-LIFE PET EXPOSURES ON THE RISK OF ALLERGIC SENSITISATION AND ASTHMA IN CHILDHOOD - 03/03/2020

B number: 
B3462
Principal applicant name: 
Angela Pinot de Moira | University of Copenhagen (Denmark )
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
INFLUENCE OF EARLY-LIFE PET EXPOSURES ON THE RISK OF ALLERGIC SENSITISATION AND ASTHMA IN CHILDHOOD
Proposal summary: 

Studies investigating the influence of early-life pet exposures on the risk of childhood asthma have been inconsistent: some studies have observed a decreased risk whilst others have observed no effect or even an increased risk of asthma following early-life pet exposure. This study aims to use data from several longitudinal studies to investigate how exposure to pets during pregnancy or early-life influences the likelihood of: a) the immune system recognising allergens (allergic sensitisation); b) developing asthma. The study will also investigated the relative influence of type (dogs vs. cats), timing (pregnancy, early life, never) and degree (number) of pet exposures on allergic sensitisation and asthma.

Impact of research: 
Results will further our understanding of the aetiology of asthma, highlight possible intervention strategies to reduce asthma incidence and severity, and help create more  effective guidelines regarding animal exposures during pregnancy and early-life
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 4 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 5 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Respiratory - asthma, Statistical methods, Pets

B3463 - Understanding the life course trajectories of adolescents who report psychotic and affective symptoms - 05/02/2020

B number: 
B3463
Principal applicant name: 
Stephen Puntis | University of Oxford (England)
Co-applicants: 
Professor Belinda Lennox
Title of project: 
Understanding the life course trajectories of adolescents who report psychotic and affective symptoms
Proposal summary: 

Mental illness most frequently emerges during adolescence and early adulthood in both psychotic and affective mental illnesses. This developmental period of the life course is one with a vast amount of biological, social and psychological change, during which young people move from early school education to further education and employment. The onset of mental illness during this important period can interrupt this development (Yung et al, 2012).

There is a large body of evidence investigating the relationship between mental ill health and educational achievement and work-related disability (Marwaha et al, 2007; Hale et al., 2015). Most studies investigating this relationship focus on either cross-sectional comparisons, or test longitudinal repeated measures data against end-point relationships (e.g. a binary in work or not in work endpoint). Few explore the heterogeneity of these trajectories over time.

In this study, we aim to measure how differences in education and employment in people with and without psychotic experiences and depressive symptoms emerge over time. To do this, we will use sequence analysis, which is a statistical technique used to identify common patterns in sequences or states over time, aiding in the identification of common life course trajectories. Distinguishing typical and atypical education and employment trajectories over time could give us insight into how this developmental period differs in those with and without psychotic and depressive symptoms. It could also identify where, and at what point in time, interventions could be delivered to reduce these differences.

Impact of research: 
There are two primary focuses for mental illness - prevention and treatment. This study will contribute to both. A better understanding of the early lifecourse education and employment trajectories of people who experience poor mental health will allow us to both better understand where and 'when' these differences are, and to target specific ages where the differences in education and employment start to emerge.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 5 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 5 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Statistical methods, Mental health

B3455 - Cardiorespiratory fitness adiposity and lean mass in relation to arterial structure and function from childhood to adulthood - 03/02/2020

B number: 
B3455
Principal applicant name: 
Prof. Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen | University of Eastern Finland (Finland)
Co-applicants: 
Dr. Andrew O. Agbaje, Dr. Alan R. Barker
Title of project: 
Cardiorespiratory fitness, adiposity, and lean mass in relation to arterial structure and function from childhood to adulthood
Proposal summary: 

Cardiovascular disease, a frontline cause of death worldwide, has some risk factors such as obesity, poor cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and vascular dysfunction whose primordial signs exist in childhood. Evidence suggests that excess body fat and poor CRF predict increased cardiometabolic risk and the progression of atherosclerosis. However, the mechanisms underlying vascular dysfunction with respect to predictors such as CRF, body fat, and lean mass in the young remains poorly understood.

It is unclear whether CRF in childhood and adolescence impact arterial structure and function in later life. Although several studies have assessed the influence of childhood CRF on early and or later arterial health, they are either of cross-sectional or short-term longitudinal design. Most of these studies have focused on a specific period (e.g. early or late childhood) and are restricted to a one-time measure of CRF. Moreover, inappropriate scaling measure of CRF such as not accounting for the confounding effect of body fat makes interpretation of existing evidence difficult.

Similarly, accumulation of body fat and lean mass during childhood through adolescence may significantly impact arterial health in early adulthood. But, studies that describe the physiological adaptation of vascular structure through adolescence to young adulthood in relation to increased body fat and lean mass are few. A repeated measure of CRF, body fat and lean mass is essential to determining critical periods of early life during which these factors implicate later arterial health. Evidence on suitable target ages for cardiovascular intervention, alongside unraveling the cryptic mechanisms by which CRF, body fat and lean mass relate to arterial health could be achieved. We would, therefore, assess the importance of early life exposures (e.g. CRF, body fat, lean mass, and/or endothelial function) from childhood through adolescence on vascular phenotypes between ages 9 to 24.

Impact of research: 
We aim to publish our findings in international peer-reviewed journals and also disseminate press releases to the general public via news channels. To provide scientific evidence on possible age-specific interventions that could mitigate the sub-clinical progress of arterial diseases from childhood.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 30 January, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 3 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Paediatric Exercise Medicine/Physiology and Epidemiology, Hypertension, Obesity, Atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, Statistical methods, Allometric scaling, mixed-method, Biological samples -e.g. blood, cell lines, saliva, etc., Blood pressure, BMI, Cardiovascular, Cohort studies - attrition, bias, participant engagement, ethics, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Physical - activity, fitness, function, Puberty, Sex differences, Statistical methods, Cardiorespiratory fitness, endothelial function, metabolic health, carotid intima-media thickness, arterial distensibility, obesity, fat-free mass, fat mass, cardiovascular health, arterial stiffness, childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, public health.

B3459 - Is the association between maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and breastfeeding outcome mediated by changes in maternal DNA methylation - 03/02/2020

B number: 
B3459
Principal applicant name: 
Sinead English | School of Biological Sciences (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Doretta Caramaschi, Ms Chloe Bennett
Title of project: 
Is the association between maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and breastfeeding outcome mediated by changes in maternal DNA methylation?
Proposal summary: 

Previous research has shown that maternal BMI (body mass index) is associated with reduced breastfeeding. Several studies have shown that increased maternal BMI can affect biological processes such as lactogenesis and that societal factors surrounding increased maternal BMI such as low body confidence can affect breastfeeding. Less is known, however, about any underlying genetic or epigenetic associations between maternal BMI and breastfeeding outcome. We ask to what extent the relationship between maternal BMI and breastfeeding outcome is mediated by changes in the mother’s epigenome, whether any differentially expressed genetic regions are associated with appetite or weight regulation, and how stable these epigenetic associations are across time.

Impact of research: 
Obesity rates in the UK are increasing and having a profound effect on the health and wellbeing of the population. Breastfeeding provides a range of benefits to a growing child that continue into adulthood. It is important to better understand the underlying association between maternal obesity and reduction in breastfeeding initiation and duration to increase breastfeeding rates in the UK. If biological mechanisms behind reduced breastfeeding are better understood, then relevant health incentives can be targeted towards susceptible groups within the population.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 3 February, 2020
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 3 February, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Diabetes, Statistical methods, BMI, Breast feeding, Epigenetics

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