About UK Biobank baseline assessment

UKB Access Team
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UK Biobank recruited 500,000 people aged between 40-69 years in 2006-2010 from across the United Kingdom. These half a million participants agreed to have their health followed so scientists across the globe can help improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases. They have undergone a wide range of physical measures, provided information on their lifestyle and medical history, donated blood, urine and saliva samples for future analysis and agreed to have their health followed up through linkage to their health-related records.

Assessments were undertaken in 22 centres in Scotland, England and Wales. There were five parts to the UK Biobank assessment process, which lasted between 2-3 hours. These included:

  • Written consent
  • Touch screen questionnaires i.e. detailed diet recall
  • Face-to-face interview with a study nurse
  • Measurements i.e. hand grip, spirometry and bone density
  • Sample collection of blood, urine and saliva

In addition to information collected during the baseline assessment, 100,000 UK Biobank participants have worn a 24-hour activity monitor for a week, 20,000 have undertaken repeat measures, and nearly 50,000 have had their heart, brain and abdomen scanned as part of a major imaging project.   

UK Biobank has grown exponentially since this initial assessment and has become a powerful research resource. The database, which is regularly augmented with additional data, is globally accessible to approved researchers and scientists undertaking vital research into the most common and life-threatening diseases. anywhere in the world.

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