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Professor Diana Kuh

dikuh1.jpgProfessor Diana Kuh is the Director of the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL and of the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD). Under her leadership, the study has developed into an integrated and interdisciplinary life course study of ageing.

Diana is also the Principal Investigator of the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) network and co-Director of a NIH-funded programme on the Integrative Analysis of Longitudinal Studies of Ageing (IALSA); both networks bring together cohort studies to investigate lifetime influences on ageing.

Diana is internationally recognised for the creation and advancement of the field of life course epidemiology where she is the author of the acknowledged key texts. Diana uses data from the NSHD to study how biological, psychological and social factors at different stages of life, independently, cumulatively or interactively affect adult health, ageing and chronic disease risk. In a broad range of more than 250 publications she has shown the importance of childhood physical and cognitive development and lifetime socioeconomic factors, lifestyle and health experience on later adiposity, cardiovascular and reproductive function, strength and physical performance, quality of life and survival.

Diana has recently shown that growth patterns across life from birth onwards are associated with bone health in later life.  For example, NSHD participants of higher birth weight and those who gained weight and height faster than others in the pre- and post-pubertal periods had stronger bones at 60-64 years.

Edited Books

Kuh D, Cooper R, Hardy R, Richards M, Ben-Shlomo Y. A life course approach to healthy ageing. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Kuh D, Ben-Shlomo Y. A life course approach to chronic disease epidemiology: tracing the origins of ill-health from early to adult life. 2nd edition. Fully revised. Oxford University Press 2004 (463 pages).

Kuh D, Hardy, R. A life course approach to women’s health. Oxford University Press 2002 (419 pages).

Selected recent publications

Kuh D, Karunananthan S, Bergman H, Cooper R. A life course approach to healthy ageing: maintaining physical capability. Proc Nutr Soc. 2014 May;73(2):237-48. doi: 10.1017/S0029665113003923

Kuh D, Wills AK, Shah I, Prentice A, Hardy R, Adams J, Ward K, Cooper C on behalf of the NSHD scientific and data collection teams. Growth from birth to adulthood and bone phenotype in early old age: a British birth cohort study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2013 Jun 12.

Bann D, Wills A, Cooper R, Hardy R, Sayer AA, Adams J, Kuh D on behalf of the NSHD scientific and data collection team. Birth weight and growth from infancy to adolescence in relation to fat and lean mass in early old age: findings from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development. International Journal of Obesity 2013 June.

Hardy R, Cooper R, Sayer AA, Ben-Shlomo Y, Cooper C, Deary IJ, Demakakos P, Gallacher J, Martin RM, McNeill G, Starr JM, Steptoe A, Syddall H, Kuh D on behalf of the HALCyon study team.  Body mass index, muscle strength and physical performance in older adults from eight cohort studies: the HALCyon programme.  PLoS one 2013;8(2):e56483.

Hurst L, Cooper R, Richards M, Stafford M, Kuh D on behalf of the NSHD scientific and data collection team. Lifetime socioeconomic inequalities in physical and cognitive ageing. American Journal of Public Health 2013 Sep;103(9):1641-8.

Ong KK, Bann D, Wills AK, Ward K, Hardy R, Kuh DTiming of voice breaking in males associated with growth and weight gain across the life course. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2012 May 3.

Wills AK, Black S, Cooper R, Coppack RJ, Hardy R, Martin KR, Cooper C, Kuh DLife course body mass index and risk of knee osteoarthritis at the age of 53 years: evidence from the 1946 British birth cohort study. Annuals of Rheumatic Disease 2012 May;71(5):655-60.

Mishra G and Kuh DHow do health symptoms during midlife relate to menopausal transition? A British prospective cohort study. BMJ 2012;344:e402.

Cooper R, Mishra, G, Kuh DPhysical Activity Across Adulthood and Physical Performance in Midlife: Findings from a British Birth Cohort. American Journal of Preventative Medicine October 2011, Vol. 41, No. 4.

Kuh D, Pierce M, Adams J, Deanfield J, Ekelund U, Friberg P, Ghosh AK, Harwood N, Hughes A, MacFarlane P, Mishra G, Pellerin D, Stephen AM, Wong A, Richards M, Hardy R on behalf of the NSHD scientific and clinic data collection teams. Cohort Profile: Updating the cohort profile for the MRC National Survey of Health and Development: a new clinic-based data collection for ageing research. International Journal of Epidemiology 2011;e1-9.