NIHR BioResource partners with UK Longitudinal Linkage Collaboration

The UK LLC is a new research infrastructure for the UK that is developing a new approach for linking well-established longitudinal studies to routine records. The project enables researchers to use data linked to health and administrative records to investigate the effects of COVID-19 and its implications for public health policy.

Close up of computer data centre storage disks

Set up to bring together study data from more than twenty of the UK’s top longitudinal studies, the UK LLC will link it with NHS COVID-19 data; education data; occupation data and information related to where people live. The BioResource has recently joined the network of longitudinal population studies and has become part of the UK LCC. The UKLCC will receive BioResource data, starting with COVID-19 related data on BioResource participants in the COVID-19 studies described in more detail below. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, NIHR BioResource has recruited over 7,000 individuals to a new COVID-19 BioResource cohort, of whom a proportion tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The NIHR COVID-19 BioResource includes people with the whole range of disease severity, from asymptomatic individuals to those with mild disease, and patients who needed hospitalisation or intensive care. This new participant community, which includes many health care workers, has underpinned the BioResource COVID-19 work. 

The NIHR BioResource has already contributed to major COVID-19 projects including COPING, a study to assess the impact of COVID-19 on all aspects of health and a study of brain complications during COVID infection.

Speaking about the partnership, Nathalie Kingston, Director of the NIHR BioResource said:

“Researchers approved to access the linked data within the UK LLC will be able find out more about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic than was ever possible before. This is because longitudinal studies have lots of detailed information about study participants’ lives both before and during the pandemic.  

“Having a ‘before and after’ picture will allow researchers to examine the wider impact on health and wellbeing as a result of lockdown measures and the disruption to our health, financial and social systems. Researchers’ findings will provide insights for policy makers and support changes to public health”.

We are delighted to be working with our new partners on this innovative project.  To find out more about the UK LLC and their work please look at their website.