Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


British Regional Heart Study (BRHS)

A long-term project investigating the causes of Cardiovascular disease (CVD) in men and seeking to understand the effect of co-morbidities on CVD.

The BRHS provides a geographically and socially representative framework for the prospective investigation of CVD in British men spanning over four decades. Established in 1978-80, the BRHS study has benefited from four repeated assessments of the men at ages in middle (40-59 years) and later life (60-79, 72-91 and 79-98 years). Participants have been followed up at four life stages for a wide range of health outcomes, including all-cause mortality and CVD morbidity, physical disability and frailty using GP records and participant questionnaires. This unique ageing cohort with extensive phenotyping, genotyping and detailed follow-up will contribute and allow us to study healthy cardiovascular ageing including prevention of CVD, heart failure, stroke, diabetes and related disabilities (frailty dementia) in older age and to add to our understanding of the biological ageing process on CVD risk. 


Research from the BRHS has provided scientific-based evidence and knowledge to clinical guidelines and policy in the management and prevention of CVD. 

Our research goes beyond CVD prevention and tries to look at strategies to improve the health of older people generally. We are looking at reducing co-morbidity and multi-morbidity related to CVD, such as frailty and dementia. Our recent research has:

  • identified several determinants of heart failure including adverse socioeconomic factors, airway obstruction, nutritional status and excessive sleep 
  • established the importance of body composition  (obesity and sarcopenia) in CVD
  • identified dietary and physical activity and sedentary patterns  as well as trajectory patterns from middle-age to older age associated with CVD risk and mortality 
  • investigated  how CVD risk is related to health challenges in later life including mobility limitation, frailty, cognitive impairment, oral health and hearing impairment. 

We are committed to maximizing the use of the BRHS data to advance scientific knowledge. The specific benefits from the use of our data will be to generate further high-quality research evidence about prevention of chronic diseases and to improve the health of older populations. We are establishing an open-access resource to share our data and facilitate other research in the wider community, either in collaboration with us or independently. We are also involved with collaborative research projects including international consortia.


The study has been funded by major grants from the 

BRHS Data Sharing

The collection and management of data of the BRHS has been made possible through grant funding from UK government agencies and charities. We welcome proposals for collaborative projects and data sharing. For general data sharing enquiries, please contact Lucy Lennon l.lennon@ucl.ac.uk