Estimating excess rates of disease-specific morbidity and mortality in cardiovascular disease patients

Qualification: PhD

Department: Health Sciences

Application deadline: 15 April 2019

Start date: September 2019

Overview

This PhD focusses on development and application of statistical methods. Specifically, the student will investigate how linked disease registry data can be suitably matched to control populations using published statistics and large-scale EHRs (e.g. from primary care) to address questions of excess rates of comorbidity following diagnosis and intervention for CVD. The student will build on research undertaken in the Biostatistics Research Group in relative survival analyses and multistate modelling.

Supervisors

Dr Michael Sweeting
Professor Paul Lambert

Project description

As a result of improvements in treatments and management of cardiovascular disease (CVD), patients are now living longer but with a potentially higher risk of developing comorbidities. A large population of patients now live with both CVD and cancer but there is limited data concerning the interplay between these two conditions. Control populations are required to address questions of excess rates of disease in a cohort. At an individual level, it is not possible to ascertain whether a subsequent event (e.g. a cancer diagnosis) is caused by the patient having CVD or not. However, at an aggregate level it is possible to compare the rate at which events occur in the CVD cohort with the rate in a control group free of CVD.

In this project the student will investigate different approaches to using control group data, either utilising published population statistics or using individual patient data from large scale electronic health records, for estimating excess rates of morbidity and mortality. The advantages and disadvantages of each approach will be formally investigated. Survival analysis methods, including the use of multistate and relative survival models, will be used to calculate clinically useful quantities such as expected years of life lost due to comorbidities. The student will be encouraged to develop free-to-use software and provide web implementation of clinically relevant metrics to disseminate their research.

This project will provide the student with a comprehensive Biostatistical and Epidemiological scientific education, including training in Statistical Programming and
Applied Research. The work will be conducted in the Biostatistics Research Group at the University of Leicester, with direct supervisory input from Dr Michael Sweeting, and second supervisor Professor Paul Lambert.

Funding

Funding

This project is funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) (Non-Clinical PhD Studentship). The Studentship is for three years, starting September 2019, and offers tuition fees at UK/EU rates, a generous stipend at current BHF rates (£19,919 - £23,298), research expenses and some travel costs.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • You are required to hold/or expect to obtain a UK Bachelor Degree 2:1 or better or Master’s degree in a subject that relates to the goals of the research group (e.g. Biostatistics), or overseas equivalent qualification.
  • University English language requirements apply where applicable.

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Project and funding enquiries

Dr Michael Sweeting 
michael.sweeting@le.ac.uk

Professor Paul Lambert
paul.lambert@le.ac.uk

Application enquiries 

pgradmissions@le.ac.uk

How to apply

How to apply

  • To apply please use the Apply button at the bottom of the page.
  • In the funding section of the application please indicate you wish to be considered for British Heart Foundation Studentship.
  • In the proposal section please provide the name of the supervisor and project.
  • Include a CV and a personal statement explaining your interest in the project and why we should consider you together with all other relevant application documents.

Eligibility

Eligibility

  • The scheme is open to nationals from all countries, but fees can only be provided at the Home/EU rate.
  • Applicants that do not qualify for the UK/EU tuition fees must be able to demonstrate that they can pay the difference between UK/EU and International fees for the duration of their studies.