Dr Francesco Zaccardi
Large, multinational epidemiological studies have consistently demonstrated an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes. Most of these studies, however, are based on old cohorts and did not investigate in detail phenotypes of participants and cardiovascular events. These limitations are relevant as: (1) the treatment of diabetes has substantially changed in the last decade; (2) the risk of diabetes and its complications is higher in some ethnic groups (i.e., south Asians); (3) there is some evidence that, within the broad definition of cardiovascular events, there are heterogeneous conditions which could be differently related to diabetes. As such, there is a possibility that other cardiovascular phenotypes are increasingly contributing to the risk of cardiovascular death in people with diabetes, particularly in some ethnic groups.
This PhD project will undertake a series of epidemiological analyses on datasets available nationally, such as the UK Biobank and the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD; one of the largest longitudinal databases of anonymised primary care records in the world), to investigate the extent to which these epidemiological transitions are related to the presence of diabetes. In particular, the post holder will work to identify key patterns of mortality trends for different cardiovascular phenotypes (i.e., heart failure and coronary heart disease), in relation to diabetes, ethnicity, and other related factors (i.e., body composition). The student will be embedded within a team of experts in epidemiology of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and heart failure and in big data analysis; the student will receive training in a broad range of statistical techniques, from demographic epidemiology to most-recent survival analysis methods.
The PhD project will be integrated into a vibrant postgraduate research community within the Diabetes Research Centre and Real World Evidence Unit, University of Leicester and help advance the aims of the National Institute of Health Research Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRU) and East Midlands Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (EM-CLAHRC).