Professor Diana Kuh
Professor Diana Kuh is the Director of the MRC Unit for Lifelong
Health and Ageing 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
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 MRC National Survey of Health and Development 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
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:
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
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
D. Timing 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 D. Life
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 D. How
do health symptoms during midlife relate to menopausal transition?
A British prospective cohort study. BMJ
Cooper R, Mishra, G, Kuh D. Physical 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.