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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 300 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.

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

Selected recent publications

Johnson W, Li L, Kuh D, Hardy R.  How has the age-related process of overweight or obesity development changed over time? Co-ordinated analyses in five United Kingdom birth cohorts.  PLoS Med. 2015 May 19;12(5):e1001828.

Cooper R, Bann D, Wloch EG, Adams JE, Kuh D. "Skeletal Muscle Function Deficit" in A Nationally Representative British Birth Cohort in Early Old Age. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2015 May;70(5):604-7.

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.

Cooper R, Hardy R, Bann D, Aihie Sayer A, Ward KA, Adams JE and Kuh D. Body mass index from age 15 years onwards and muscle mass, strength and quality in early old age: findings from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2014 Oct;69(10):1253-9.

Bann D, Cooper R, Wills A, Adams J, Kuh D on behalf of the NSHD scientific and data collection team. Socioeconomic position across life and body composition in early old age: findings from a British birth cohort study.  Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health Jun 1;68(6):516-23.

Cooper R, Strand BH, Hardy R, Patel KV, Kuh DPhysical capability in midlife and survival over 13 years follow-up: British birth cohort studyBritish Medical Journal 2014;348:g2219.

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.