Data releases and enhancements to UK Biobank

UKB Access Team
UKB Access Team The helpers that keep the community running smoothly. UKB Community team Access Team
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UK Biobank has collected and continues to collect extensive environmental, lifestyle, and genetic data on half a million participants. New data are uploaded into the database regularly.

Registered researchers receive emails when new data are available for release.

UK Biobank participants have generously provided a very wide range of information about their health and well-being since recruitment began in 2006. This has been added to in the following ways: 

  • Imaging: Brain, heart and full body MR imaging, plus full body DEXA scan of the bones and joints and an ultrasound of the carotid arteries. The goal is to image 100,000 participants, and to invite participants back for a repeat scan some years later. 
  • Genetics: Whole genome sequencing for all 500,000 participants, whole exome sequencing for 470,000 participants, genotyping (800,000 genome-wide variants and imputation to 90 million variants).
  • Health linkages: Linkage to a wide range of electronic health-related records, including death, cancer, hospital admissions and primary care records. 
    Biomarkers: Data on more than 30 key biochemistry markers from all participants, taken from samples collected at recruitment and the first repeat assessment. 
  • Activity monitor: Physical activity data over a 7-day period collected via a wrist-worn activity monitor for 100,000 participants plus a seasonal follow-up on a subset.
  • Online questionnaires: Data on a range of exposures and health outcomes that are difficult to assess via routine health records, including diet, food preferences, work history, pain, cognitive function, digestive health and mental health. 
  • Repeat baseline assessments: A full baseline assessment is undertaken during the imaging assessment of 100,000 participants.
  • Samples: Blood & urine was collected from all participants, and saliva for 100,000.

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