EPIC working groups

The EPIC-Heart/EPIC-CVD Working Group

EPIC-Heart is the pan-European component of EPIC studying coronary heart disease (CHD). Its aim is to evaluate the separate and combined effects of genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle risk factors in CHD. EPIC-Heart uses a case—cohort study design of involving >15 000 confirmed incident CHD cases and a similar number of randomly selected participants to act as controls (the “subcohort”). This subcohort is shared with the EPIC-InterAct project, which focuses on type 2 diabetes.

EPIC-Heart has measured a large panel of biomarkers, including total cholesterol, HDL-C, triglycerides, apoAI, apoB, HbA1c, other clinical chemistry biomarkers, plus 37 fatty acids, as well as measuring two genetic arrays (Cardio-MetaboChip and Exome chip). Analyses of high-priority hypotheses for gene—lifestyle joint effects in CHD should yield findings that substantially advance understanding of etiology, assist in targeting interventions, and help to identify novel therapeutic targets.

EPIC-CVD builds on EPIC-Heart to include analyses of ˜10 000 incident stroke cases. EPIC-CVD aims to develop and validate innovative risk scores and efficient screening strategies by studying 75 high-priority soluble biomarkers and selected genetic variants in the most powerful population-based prospective study ever conducted of incident CHD and stroke. EPIC-CVD will provide the first consideration across Europe of risk scores with information on the interplay of nature and nurture together with biomarkers of lifestyle, biological pathways, vascular injury, and ageing.

EPIC-Heart is funded by the British Heart Foundation, Medical Research Council, and European Research Council. EPIC-CVD is funded through the European Union Seventh Framework Programme.

Selected publications

  1. Danesh J, Saracci R, Berglund G, Feskens E, Overvad K, Panico S, et al. EPIC-Heart: the cardiovascular component of a prospective study of nutritional, lifestyle and biological factors in 520,000 middle-aged participants from 10 European countries. Eur J Epidemiol. 2007;22(2):129-41. PMID: 17295097

  2. Peters SA, van der Schouw YT, Wood AM, Sweeting MJ, Moons KG, Weiderpass E, et al. Parity, breastfeeding and risk of coronary heart disease: A pan-European case-cohort study. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2016 Nov;23(16):1755-1765. PMID: 27378766

  3. Lassale C, Tzoulaki I, Moons KGM, Sweeting M, Boer J, Johnson L, et al. Separate and combined associations of obesity and metabolic health with coronary heart disease: a pan-European case-cohort analysis. Eur Heart J. 2018 Feb 1;39(5):397-406. PMID: 29020414

  4. Wood AM, Kaptoge S, Butterworth AS, Willeit P, Warnakula S, Bolton T, et al. Risk thresholds for alcohol consumption: combined analysis of individual-participant data for 599 912 current drinkers in 83 prospective studies. Lancet. 2018 Apr 14;391(10129):1513-1523. PMID: 29676281

  5. Ricci C, Wood A, Muller D, Gunter MJ, Agudo A, Boeing H, et al. Alcohol intake in relation to non-fatal and fatal coronary heart disease and stroke: EPIC-CVD case-cohort study. BMJ. 2018 May 29;361:k934. PMID: 29844013

  6. Key TJ, Appleby PN, Bradbury KE, Sweeting M, Wood A, Johansson I, et al. Consumption of Meat, Fish, Dairy Products, and Eggs and Risk of Ischemic Heart Disease. Circulation. 2019 Jun 18;139(25):2835-2845. PMID: 31006335

Contact details/Working Group leader

Professor John Danesh
Head, Department of Public Health and Primary Care
University of Cambridge
Strangeways Research Laboratory
Cambridge CB1 8RN
United Kingdom