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UK Biobank is a major national health resource, and a registered charity in its own right, with the aim of improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses – including cancer, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, eye disorders, depression and forms of dementia.

500,000 people aged between 40-69 years were recruited in 2006-2010 from across the country to take part in this project. They have undergone measures, provided blood, urine and saliva samples for future analysis, detailed information about themselves and agreed to have their health followed. The cohort is primarily followed through data linkage but the cohort was re-contacted in 2012-13 with a further 100,000 to be approached over the next few years.

The Million Women Study is the largest study of women’s health in the world. In 1996-2001, a quarter of UK women then aged 50-64 years (1.3 million women) joined the study. The aim of the study is to provide reliable information on potentially modifiable causes of common and serious illnesses, to help improve individual and public health. Study participants have provided details about their lifestyle and health and given signed consent for follow-up. Since recruitment their health has been followed mainly through electronic linkage to routinely collected NHS records (only 1.5% loss to follow-up after 20 years) and the whole surviving cohort has been re-contacted 4 times by postal re-survey to update exposures (1999-03, 2006-7, 2009-12 & 2013-14). Subsets of women have completed additional postal and online re-surveys.

Million Women Study is part of the Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), a multi-million pound public-private partnership to accelerate progress in dementias research http://www.mrc.ac.uk/research/facilities/dementias-platform-uk

Last update – 13/06/2017

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) is a prospective cohort with more than 521,000 study participants enrolled from 23 centres in 10 western European countries. Detailed information on diet, lifestyle characteristics, anthropometric measurements, and medical history was collected at recruitment (1992-1999).

Biological samples including plasma, serum, leukocytes, and erythrocytes were also collected at baseline from 387,889 individuals and are stored at the International Agency for Research on Cancer – World Health Organization (IARC-WHO) and mirrored at EPIC collaborating centres. Overall, the EPIC biorepositories host more than 9 million aliquots, constituting one of the largest biobanks in the world for biochemical and genetic investigations on cancer and other chronic diseases. Follow-up measures of lifestyle exposures have been collected and will be centralized at IARC in 2016.

Last update – 25/04/2017