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Research project

Lifecourse Determinants and Prevention of Early-onset Burdensome Multimorbidity

Project overview

A ‘Research Collaboration’ funded by NIHR involving five work packages (WPs) that include:
1. Undertaking a qualitative evidence synthesis and a consensus study (Delphi) to develop deeper understanding of what ‘burdensomeness’ and ‘complexity’ mean to people living with early-onset (by age 65) multiple long-term condition multimorbidity (MLTC-M), carers and healthcare professionals
2. Developing safe data environments and readiness for artificial intelligence (AI) analyses across large, representative routine healthcare datasets (Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) and Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD)) and birth cohorts (National Child Development Study (NCDS), Aberdeen Children of the 1950s (ACONF), 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70)) then harmonising specified LTCs across birth cohorts and routine data.
3. In those safe data environments, using the WP1 burdensomeness/complexity indicators and applying AI methods to identify novel early-onset, burdensome MLTC-M clusters and match individuals in birth cohorts into routine data MLTC-M clusters, identify determinants of burdensome clusters using matched datasets, and model trajectories of long-term conditions (LTCs) and burden accrual.
4. Characterising clusters of early-life (pre-birth to 18 years) risk factors for early-onset, burdensome MLTC-M and sentinel conditions (the first LTC to occur in the lifecourse), defining population groups in early life at risk of future MLTC-M, identifying critical time points and targets for prevention, and modelling counterfactual prevention scenarios of interventions acting on combined risk factors at key timepoints
5. Engaging key stakeholders to prioritise timepoints and targets to prevent/delay specified sentinel conditions and early-onset, burdensome MLTC-M. Partnering with our PPI Advisory Board, and maintaining stakeholder engagement, we will co-produce public health implementation recommendations


Lead researcher



Research interests

  • Healthcare public health
  • Kidney disease
  • Multimorbidity
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Other researchers

Professor Nisreen A Alwan MBE, MBChB, MRCP, FFPH, MPH, MSc, PhD, FHEA, PGCAP

Professor of Public Health

Research interests

  • Public Health
  • Lifecourse Epidemiology
  • Long Covid
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Professor Rebecca Hoyle

Assoc Vice-President Interdisc Research

Research interests

  • Multimorbidity across the lifecourse
  • Cooperation in social networks and evolution of cooperation
  • Quantitative genetics of transgenerational effects
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Professor Michael Boniface CEng, FIET

Professorial Fellow in Information Techn

Research interests

  • Artifical intelligence for health systems
  • Human centred interactive systems
  • Federated systems management 
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Professor Nick Francis

Head of School

Research interests

  • Infections in primary care
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Respiratory infections
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Professor Ann Berrington

Professor-Demography&Social Statistics
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Dr Ruben Sanchez-Garcia


Research interests

  • Network modelling and analysis
  • Applied Topology
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Mr Seb Stannard

Research Fellow
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Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs