The first major publication using follow-up data from UK Biobank is the comprehensive and statistically advanced investigation of predictors of overall and cause-specific mortality by Andrea Ganna and Erik Ingelsson (Karolinska Institute/Uppsala University) recently published in the Lancet.
Professor Simon Thompson and Dr Peter Willeit (Department of Public Health and Primary Care) suggest in their Lancet commentary on the study that the work reinforces their evidence that increases in physical activity, smoking cessation, and having a healthy diet can increase longevity.
They write, however ‘The challenge lies in how these changes can be achieved, rather than in removing any uncertainty in scientific understanding. From a research point of view, UK Biobank is starting to show its true potential.
Much more is yet to come: genetic and biochemical information, long-term follow-up, disease morbidity, and linked hospital admission and primary care records.
The greatest value of UK Biobank in the future is likely to come from more targeted analyses of risk factors for particular diseases and health outcomes’.