Respiratory Epidemiology and Public Health
Head of Group: Professor Peter Burney, Professor of Respiratory Epidemiology and Public Health
Senior researcher: Professor Deborah Jarvis, Professor in Public Health
The Respiratory Epidemiology and Public Health group comprises a team of researchers with an international reputation in the field of epidemiology of allergic disease, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and incorporating expertise in medicine, public health, nutrition, genetic epidemiology and statistics. As well as working on the broad epidemiological patterns of disease, the Group has a particular interest in the effects of early life, nutrition, sex hormones and environment (indoor, outdoor and occupational) on disease incidence, severity and prognosis. The Group is also examining the influence of genes on susceptibility to environmental causes of disease.
The Respiratory Epidemiology and Public Health group collaborates with over sixty other research groups across the world. Some of the international projects the Group are involved in are described at the bottom of this page. In addition, within the UK they collaborate with several other universities including St George's and King's College London. Within Imperial the Group have strong links with Occupational and Environmental Medicine and is part of the recently formed MRC-HPA Centre of Health and the Environment.
Ascaris and atopy
A recent publication from a study undertaken in the Eastern and Western Cape of South Africa has suggested that children living in endemic areas of ascaris (roundworm) infestation may develop inflammatory conditions of the airway, mimicking some aspects of asthma, that are not directly related to atopic disease. Calvert and Burney JACI 2010
A large part of our research programme is core-funded by the Department of Health. Please use the link below to download the research unit's final report covering the period 2006-2010. Final DH Report
The Group is currently coordinating two large international studies:
- The Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) Initiative is an international survey of the prevalence of COPD and its economic burden, with funding from the Wellcome Trust. This is set to be a world-wide platform for the ongoing study of the disease.
- The European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS III) is a multicentre cohort study of asthma and allergy among people born between 1946 and 1971 and living mostly in Western Europe. The current study aims to re-examine participants for a third time to provide unique information on the prognosis of allergy and lung disease over a period of 20 years.
Burney, P, Calvert J,. Ascaris, atopy, and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in rural and urban South African children. J Allergy Clin Immunol . 2010. 125: 100-105.
Buist AS, McBurnie MA, Vollmer WM, Gillespie S, Burney P, Mannino DM, et al. International variation in the prevalence of COPD (the BOLD Study): a population-based prevalence study. Lancet 2007 Sep 1;370(9589):741-750.
Kogevinas M, Zock JP,Jarvis D , Kromhout H, Lillienberg L, Plana E, Radon K, Toren K, Alliksoo A, Benke G, Blanc PD, Dahlman-Hoglund A, D'Errico A, Hery M, Kennedy S, Künzli N, Leynaert B, Mirabelli MC, Muniozguren N, Norbäck D, Olivieri M, Payo F, Villani S, van Sprundel M, Urrutia I, Wieslander G, Sunyer J, Antó JM. Exposure to substances in the workplace and new-onset asthma: An international prospective population-based study (ECRHS-II). Lancet 2007;370:336-341.
The Group has strong links with a number of European and Worldwide research programmes:
|The European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) is a longitudinal study of more than 10,000 people in 25 countries, mainly in Western Europe, who were recruited in 1990 and followed up in 2000. These people are due to be followed up again during 2010-11, along with a new cross-sectional group. Professor Burney is the project leader and Professor Jarvis is a steering committee member|
|The Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA2LEN) is a Network of Excellence funded by the European Commission, established to enhance the quality and relevance of asthma and allergy research. Professor Burney is the co-chair of its research committee and Professor Jarvis is co-chair of the Gender Group. The GA2LEN Study manual of procedures can be downloaded here: Ga2len Study Manual|
|Europrevall is a European Union funded project that aims to characterise food allergy across Europe, develop methods to improve diagnosis and explore the economic costs of food allergy. Our research group is co-ordinating Europrevall's epidemiological studies.|
|Gabriel is a research programme co-ordinated by Professor Bill Cookson, looking at genes and environment in relation to asthma. The programme will analyse a large number of potentially important genes in the ECRHS population as well as in two other European studies that have used the same questions, EGEA in France and SAPALDIA in Switzerland. This is a mjor opportunity to assess the role of genes in the development and expression of atopic diseases.|
|The Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study (GBD 2010) brings together a community of experts and leaders in epidemiology and public health research from around the world to measure current levels and recent trends in all major diseases, injuries and risk factors. GBD 2010 is led by a consortium including Harvard University, the University of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Queensland and the World Health Organisation. This ambitious effort will be conducted systematically and transparently; both its methods and results will be made available to the public.|