Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Principal Investigators

Professor Mika Kivimaki
Chair of Social Epidemiology
Whitehall II Study Director
Email: m.kivimaki@ucl.ac.uk

Background: Professor Kivimaki is an epidemiologist and director of the Whitehall II study.

Current area of research: Prof Kivimaki's research focuses on 3 broad topics: (1) risk factors for chronic conditions (type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression) and mortality; (2) prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other late-onset dementias; and (3) multicohort omics and outcome-wide analyses to increase aetiological understanding.

A detailed biographical interview is available in Circulation 2012; 126 (Oct 23); f97-f102 "Spotlight European Scientist in Cardiology".

Key publications:

  1. Tabák AG, Herder C, Rathmann W, Brunner EJ, Kivimaki M. Prediabetes: a high-risk state for diabetes development. Lancet 2012; 379: 2279-2290. (PMID: 22683128)
  2. Stringhini S, Carmeli C, Jokela M, Avendaño A, Muennig P, Guida F, Ricceri F, d'Errico A, Barros H, Bochud M, Chadeau-Hyam M, Clavel-Chapelon F, Costa G, Delpierre C, Fraga S, Goldberg M, Giles GG, Krogh V, Kelly-Irving M, Layte R, Lasserre AM, Marmot MG, Preisig M, Shipley MJ, Vollenweider P, Zins M, Kawachi I, Steptoe A, Mackenbach JP, Vineis P, Kivimaki M. Socioeconomic status and the 25 × 25 risk factors as determinants of premature mortality: a multicohort study and meta-analysis of 1.7 million men and women. Lancet 2017; 389: 1229-1237. (PMID: 28159391
  3. Kivimaki M, Steptoe A. Effects of stress on the development and progression of cardiovascular disease. Nature Reviews Cardiology 2018; 15: 215-229. (PMID: 29213140)
  4. Kivimäki M, Strandberg T, Pentti J, Nyberg ST, Frank P, Jokela M, Ervasti J, Suominen SB, Vahtera J, Sipilä PN, Lindbohm JV, Ferrie JE. Body-mass index and risk of obesity-related complex multimorbidity: an observational multicohort study. Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology 2022; 4. 253-263. (PMID: 35248171)
  5. Lindbohm JV, Mars N, Sipila PN, Singh-Manoux A, Runz H, FinnGen, Livingston G, Seshadri S, Xavier R, Hingorani AD, Ripatti S, Kivimaki M. Immune system wide Mendelian randomization and triangulation analyses support autoimmunity as a modifiable component in dementia causing diseases. Nature Aging 2022.
Prof Mika Kivimaki
Professor Annie Britton
Professor of Epidemiology
Email: a.britton@ucl.ac.uk

Background: Professor Britton's research focuses on the health consequences of alcohol consumption, with a particular emphasis on drinking across the life course. 

Current area of research: Professor Britton uses data from several large cohort studies, including Whitehall II, with repeat measures of alcohol consumption to investigate how these relate to health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and mortality.

Professor Britton is also researching the health needs of marginalised populations, working with colleagues at the UCL Collaborative Centre for Inclusion Health.
Additionally, she is the Graduate Tutor for research students in the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care.

Key publications: 

  1. Ding C, O'Neill D, Britton A. Trajectories of alcohol consumption up to 30 years before and after the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases: a longitudinal case-control study of 12 502 participantsJ Epidemiol Community Health 2022;76:497-504. (PMID: 34965970)
  2. Ding C, O'Neill D, Bell S, Stamatakis E, Britton A.   Association of alcohol consumption with morbidity and mortality in patients with cardiovascular disease: original data and meta-analysis of 48,423 men and women.  BMC Med. 2021 Jul 27;19(1):167. (PMID: 34311738)
  3. Ng Fat L, Bell S, Britton A. A life-time of hazardous drinking and harm to health among older adults: findings from the Whitehall II prospective cohort study.  Addiction. 2020 Oct;115(10):1855-1866. (PMID: 32233123)
  4. Britton A, Fat LN, Neligan A. The association between alcohol consumption and sleep disorders among older people in the general population. Sci Rep. 2020 Mar 24;10(1):5275. (PMID: 32210292)
  5. Britton A, O'Neill D, Kuh D, Bell S. Sustained heavy drinking over 25 years is associated with increased N-terminal-pro-B-type natriuretic peptides in early old age: Population-based cohort study.  Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 Jul 1;212:108048. (PMID: 32450480)
Annie Britton
Professor Eric Brunner
Professor of Social and Biological Epidemiology
Email: e.brunner@ucl.ac.uk

Background: Professor Brunner is an epidemiologist, researching the nature and causes of health inequalities. He co-directed the Whitehall II study for many years. He is a visiting professor at Osaka Graduate School of Medicine.

Current area of research: Professor Brunner leads the UK-China Health and Social Challenges Ageing Project a 4-year study of ageing, dementia and health in China and UK @UKCHASCAP funded by Economic and Social Research Council.



Eric Brunner
Professor Jenny Head
Professor of Medical and Social Statistics
Email: j.head@ucl.ac.uk

Background: Professor Head trained as a statistician and has extensive experience of longitudinal data analysis. Her interests include working conditions and health; determinants of mental health in later life; and determinants of healthy ageing. She was Principal Investigator on the Extending Working Lives (renEWL) consortium.

Current area of research:  Professor Head's current research focuses on determinants of healthy ageing and working life expectancy using international cohort studies, including Whitehall II. She is co-investigator on the Health of Older People in Places (HOPE) project.  

Key publications: 

  1. Lagström H, Stenholm S, Akbaraly T, Pentti J, Vahtera J, Kivimäki M, Head J. Diet quality as a predictor of cardiometabolic disease-free life expectancy: the Whitehall II cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020 Apr 1;111(4):787-794. (PMID: 31927573)
  2. Stenholm S, Head J, Kivimäki M, Magnusson Hanson LL, Pentti J, Rod NH, Clark AJ, Oksanen T, Westerlund H, Vahtera J. Sleep Duration and Sleep Disturbances as Predictors of Healthy and Chronic Disease-Free Life Expectancy Between Ages 50 and 75: A Pooled Analysis of Three Cohorts. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 Jan 16;74(2):204-210. (PMID: 29415200)
  3. Fleischmann M, Xue B, Head J. Mental Health Before and After Retirement-Assessing the Relevance of Psychosocial Working Conditions: The Whitehall II Prospective Study of British Civil Servants. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2020 Jan 14;75(2):403-413. (PMID: 31100154)
  4. Jokela M, Singh-Manoux A, Ferrie JE, Gimeno D, Akbaraly TN, Shipley MJ, Head J, Elovainio M, Marmot MG, Kivimäki M. The association of cognitive performance with mental health and physical functioning strengthens with age: the Whitehall II cohort study. Psychol Med. 2010 May;40(5):837-45. (PMID: 19719898)
Jenny Head
Professor Meena Kumari
Professor of Biological and Social Epidemiology, Essex University
Honorary Professor, UCL
Email: mkumari@essex.ac.uk
Research interests: Ageing; Cardiovascular genetics; Life course health and wellbeing; Social determinants of healthy ageing; Work stress.
Meena Kumari
Professor Sir Michael Marmot
Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health
Email: m.marmot@ucl.ac.uk

Backgroung: Sir Michael Marmot has led research groups on health inequalities for 40 years. He founded the Whitehall II Study in 1985 and is currently implementing the Whitehall II findings in policy all over the world. In 2000 he was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen, for services to epidemiology and the understanding of health inequalities.

Current area of research: Sir Michael Marmot is now focusing his work in the new UCL Institute of Health Equity (IHE). Together with his IHE team he will build on his work to tackle inequalities in health through action on the social determinants of health.

More information on Professor Sir Michael Marmot

Michael Marmot
Professor Archana Singh-Manoux
Research Director, INSERM
Honorary Professor, UCL
Email: a.singh-manoux@ucl.ac.uk

Background: Prof Singh-Manoux leads the cognitive ageing programme of the Whitehall II study and heads a research team entitled "Epidemiology of ageing and neurodegenerative diseases" @epiageing at INSERM, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

Current area of research: Our overarching objective is to identify the drivers of health at older ages using a lifecourse approach. Key characteristics of this research includes study of functional decline as well as dementia, consideration of both cognitive & motor change in order to assess how central nervous system dysfunction impacts the sequence of age-related changes, repeat assessment of multiple risk factors (social, behavioural, cardiometabolic, inflammatory, etc.), strong methodological core in order to tackle limitations due to suboptimal consideration of missing data, competing risks, selection, & reverse causation biases.

Key Publications: 

  1. Barbiellini Amidei C, Fayosse A, Dumurgier J, Machado-Fragua MD, Tabak AG, van Sloten T, Kivimäki M, Dugravot A, Sabia S, Singh-Manoux A. Association Between Age at Diabetes Onset and Subsequent Risk of Dementia. JAMA. 2021; 325(16):1640-1649. (PMID: 33904867)
  2. Dugravot A, Fayosse A, Dumurgier J, Bouillon K, Rayana TB, Schnitzler A, Kivimaki M, Sabia S, Singh-Manoux A. Social inequalities in multimorbidity, frailty, disability, and transitions to mortality: a 24-year follow-up of the Whitehall II cohort study. Lancet Public Health. 2020 Jan;5(1):e42-e50. (PMID: 31837974)
  3. Abell JG, Kivimäki M, Dugravot A, Tabak AG, Fayosse A, Shipley M, Sabia S, Singh-Manoux A. Association between systolic blood pressure and dementia in the Whitehall II cohort study: role of age, duration, and threshold used to define hypertension. Eur Heart J. 2018;39(33):3119-3125. (PMID: 29901708)
  4. Singh-Manoux A, Dugravot A, Shipley M, Brunner EJ, Elbaz A, Sabia S, Kivimaki M. Obesity trajectories and risk of dementia: 28 years of follow-up in the Whitehall II Study.  Alzheimers Dement. 2018; 14(2): 178-186. (PMID: 28943197)
  5. Singh-Manoux A, Dugravot A, Fournier A, Abell J, Ebmeier K, Kivimäki M, Sabia S. Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms Before Diagnosis of Dementia: A 28-Year Follow-up Study. JAMA Psychiatry. 2017; 74: 712-718. (PMID: 28514478)
Archana Singh-Manoux