Exploring the sex-specific associations of early life conditions, classical risk factors and polygenic risk with the development of major non-communicable diseases
The gene and environment interplay in the development of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has long been recognized. However, few studies have simultaneously explored the long-term effects of early-life conditions, classical factors in later life and genetic heritability on the development of major NCDs. The UK Biobank collects data from participants about their early life factors, and we aim to harness the availability of such valuable information to explore how genetic and environmental factors across a wide lifespan, including, but not limited to birth weight, economic status, and health-related behaviours may influence various NCDs. The associations of early life conditions, classical risk factors and polygenic risk with the development of major NCDs, and how those association patterns differ between sexes will be addressed. Furthermore, we also aim to estimate and predict sex-specific risks of a number of NCDs for males and females respectively.
This proposed project forms a collaborative project led by an interdisciplinary team of researchers with expertise in epidemiology, clinical medicine and global health. We estimate that the project will be completed within 36 months after all data have been obtained. With this project, we hope to provide evidence useful for developing relevant early interventions to promote better health for people.