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Genetic Determinants of Disability in Older Women: <br/>British Women’s Heart & Health Study

Final Report Summary - GENDIS (Genetic Determinants of Disability in Older Women: British Women’s Heart & Health Study)

Executive Summary:

The burden of disability in older adults on resources of health care systems in many European countries has increased in recent years due to ageing populations. This Marie-Curie Intra-European Fellowship was aimed to identify women that are at high risk of developing locomotor disability and to delineate potential causal pathways resulting in locomotor disability with a special focus on inflammatory response. An additional goal of the fellowship was that the researcher gained competencies in disability research and genetic epidemiology.


- Development and validation of a prognostic model for locomotor disability, which can be used for risk assessment and risk stratification. An online calculator for risk of disability in older adults will be freely available.
- Aetiological research suggested a role of inflammation and coagulation in the development of locomotor disability in elderly women irrespective of their lifestyle factors and underlying age-related chronic diseases.
- The researcher gained skills in genetic epidemiology while leading a Mendelian randomisation project in a large consortium of studies and strengthened her research competencies.


In conclusion, this fellowship contributed to a better understanding about prediction and aetiology of locomotor disability. The online calculator may help GPs and other health care professionals to identify people with higher risks of disability in order to prioritise allocation to preventive or care programs to those with the greatest need. The role of interventions to reduce inflammatory and coagulatory responses provides a novel approach which now requires evaluation.


Prof. Shah Ebrahim
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine