Aberdeen hosts seminar on long-term health researcher

Aberdeen hosts seminar on long-term health researcher

The University of Aberdeen will today (Wednesday, November 13) be hosting a one-day seminar, Cohort Studies in Theory and Practice. This will bring together health researchers from all over Scotland to discuss studies which follow up a large group, or cohort, of normal people over a number of years to see what influences their long-term health.

Many cohort studies have been carried out in Aberdeen in recent decades, investigating the role of diet, birth weight and genetic factors on the development of dementia, heart disease, bone disease, cancer and asthma.

Aberdeen is uniquely placed to carry out these studies due to the existence of registers such as the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank, set up by pioneering local obstetrician Sir Dugald Baird, which has records of all births in Aberdeen Maternity Hospital since 1950. Other factors which have established Aberdeen as an excellent location for these studies include the geographical stability and cultural homogeneity of the local population, and, most importantly, the high response rate to health surveys carried out in the North East.

Three distinguished health experts from across the UK will be addressing delegates: Professor David Leon from the Department of Epidemiology & Population Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Professor Ian Deary from the Department of Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and Professor George Davey-Smith from the Department of Social Medicine at the University of Bristol, all of whom are currently involved in research projects in Aberdeen.

Medical experts from the University of Aberdeen who will be presenting at the seminar include: Professor Lawrence Whalley, Department of Mental Health; Professor Cairns Smith, Department of Public Health; Professor David Reid, Department of Medicine & Therapeutics; Professor David Godden, Highlands & Islands Health Research Institute; Dr Doris Campbell Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; and Professor Hannaford, Department of General Practice and Director of the Institute of Applied Health Sciences.

Professor Hannaford, said: “The seminar is designed to bring together those who have used cohort studies previously or may be interested in doing so in the future. Aberdeen has an international reputation for establishing large groups of individuals who can be studied to increase our understanding of the causes and impact of different diseases. The seminar will be a useful opportunity to disseminate results from completed studies and will also stimulate new developments and collaborations using the numerous data sets held in Aberdeen.

“This seminar provides a rare opportunity to explore the potential which cohort studies can bring to different aspects of research and to recognise the past and present contributions of the University and population of Aberdeen to the understanding of the causes of common diseases.”

This event is the first of a series of one day seminars to be held by the Institute of Applied Health Sciences and will be attended by over 100 delegates from all over Scotland.

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