UK Biobank recruited 500,000 people across the country aged between 40 and 69 years from 2006 to 2010. These half a million participants agreed to have their health followed so scientists across the globe can help improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases.
Assessments were undertaken in 22 centres in Scotland, England and Wales. There were five parts to the UK Biobank assessment process, which lasted between 2-3 hours. These included:
- Written consent
- Touch screen questionnaires i.e. detailed diet recall
- Face-to-face interview with a study nurse
- Measurements i.e. hand grip, spirometry and bone density
- Sample collection of blood, urine and saliva
In addition to information collected during the baseline assessment, 100,000 UK Biobank participants have worn a 24-hour activity monitor for a week, 20,000 have undertaken repeat measures, and nearly 50,000 have had their heart, brain and abdomen scanned as part of a major imaging project.
UK Biobank has grown exponentially since this initial assessment and has become a powerful research resource. The database, which is regularly augmented with additional data, is globally accessible to approved researchers and scientists undertaking vital research into the most common and life-threatening diseases. anywhere in the world.
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