Delay in heart failure diagnosis: identifying clinical and care factors from longitudinal studies using national linkage database

Qualification: PhD

Department: Health Sciences

Application deadline: 21 June 2021

Start date: September 2021

Overview

Supervisors

Project description

The prognosis of the population with a new diagnosis of heart failure (HF) is poor, with 1 in 3 patients dying within 12 months of diagnosis, and this prognosis is as poor as some of the most life-threatening cancers. There is some evidence that like cancers, there may be time delays (of nearly 12 months) in a new HF diagnosis, which is often not made until an emergency admission to hospital. There are also pre-morbid disease factors, such as cardio-metabolic group of conditions and myocardial infarction, which are known to be associated with an increased risk of developing subsequent HF. Given that there are routinely collected clinical and care data across different care interfaces, between primary and hospital care, there is an opportunity to develop risk factor models for the earlier identification of HF. 

Whilst some clinical and care factors are known to be at risk of future HF onset, which are identifiable through routinely recorded consultations, there remain delays in HF diagnosis. Furthermore, there have been no risk factor models been developed, which combine these factors, in the prediction of HF, especially in primary care or at the population level. The project will utilise the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) which is a national epidemiological database that links primary care records to other data such as hospital and death data, to develop these risk models. The PhD is also linked to a broader informatics programme. 

Career development potential

This is a high level quantitative PhD plan which for the right applicant with mathematics, epidemiology or statistics skills can lead to a springboard into a research career that will suit academia or commercial opportunities. It addresses the ‘Big Data’ and ‘Data Science’ focus of national and international research agenda and a key topic area of cardiovascular sciences which is a priority for both the UK and low, middle and high income countries. HF is key national UK policy priority (notwithstanding COVID) in terms of improving prognosis and reducing avoidable unplanned hospital admissions. 

Funding

Funding

This 3-year PhD studentship provides:

  • UK/EU tuition fee waiver
  • Annual stipend at UKRI rates (£15,285 for 2020/21)
  • Research Training Support Grant of £1,300 per annum

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to hold a UK Bachelor Degree 2:1 or better, or overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject.  

The University of Leicester's English language requirements apply (where applicable).

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Project enquiries

Application enquiries

How to apply

How to apply

To submit your application, please use the 'Apply' button at the bottom of the page and select September 2021 from the dropdown menu.

With your application, please include:

  • CV
  • Personal statement explaining your interest in the project, your experience and why we should consider you
  • Degree Certificates and Transcripts of study already completed and if possible transcript to date of study currently being undertaken
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (if applicable)
  • In the reference section please enter the contact details of your two academic referees in the boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available
  • In the funding section, please specify that you wish to be considered for a College of Life Sciences 2021 studentship
  • In the research proposal section, please provide the name of the project supervisors and project title (a research proposal is not required)

Eligibility

Eligibility

UK/EU applicants only.