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UK Biobank is a world-wide health resource with unparalleled research opportunities, open to all bona fide health researchers, from both academia and industry to conduct research that is in the public interest. UK Biobank aims to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses – including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, eye disorders, mental health, dementia, and many others.

UK Biobank recruited 500,000 people aged 40-69 years in 2006-2010 from across the UK. They have provided detailed information about themselves, provided a wide range of physical measures, provided blood, saliva and urine samples for future analysis and gave consent for their health to be followed-up through linkage to electronic health records.

In addition to the information collected at recruitment, UK Biobank has:

  • Collected repeat measures on 20,000 participants;
  • Collected objective physical activity data from a wrist-worn monitor for 100,000 participants;
  • Collected more detailed information from participants through a series of web-based questionnaires;
  • Performed genome-wide genotyping and imputation for all 500,000 participants;
  • Measured 36 key biochemical markers in the blood and urine samples for all 500,000 participants;
  • Performed linkage to health records – including death, cancer, hospital inpatient admissions and (in due course) primary care records for all 500,000 participants;
  • Currently performing a multi-modal imaging study on 100,000 participants.

All data, including the genetic, biochemistry, imaging and health linked data are being made available for research, as and when they are ready.

The Big Data Institute is home to the data analyst, IT and epidemiological teams for UK Biobank and is responsible for participant contact, data collection, processing, storing and access for research purposes.

Principal contact:

Visit the UK Biobank website

UK Biobank