The approach


In this development project, we will apply our methods to look specifically at the how chronic inflammation might explain the common occurrence of disease. Chronic inflammation is thought to be at the root of many diseases including cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease (such as arthritis) and dementia. Certain lifestyles (such as low levels of exercise, poor diet, and smoking) are thought to predispose to chronic inflammation. Inflammation can be controlled by both lifestyle interventions and drug treatments, so a better understanding of how inflammation is involved should provide an indication of how and when to intervene to prevent future disease.

We have access to datasets in which inflammation has been recorded over long periods, but at this stage we do not know how complete or consistent this information is. As well as testing the feasibility of our computing methods, one of the aims of this development work is to assess the value of current health datasets for this sort of analysis.

By bringing our combined skills to bear on this problem, we hope to develop new approaches that can be scaled up in a future application to be used on large national and international datasets, resulting in new insights that will help prevent disease and improve population health.

Patients and the public will be involved throughout this project and to ensure meaningful engagement we will provide training. Their involvement will be important in helping us prioritise the work, interpret our findings and explain our messages to the wider public.