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European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Oxford (EPIC-Oxford)

About the cohort

Start date: 1993-2000
Age at recruitment: 17-98
Sample size at recruitment: 65,000
Estimated current sample size: 50,810

The Oxford component of European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition is a prospective cohort of 65,000 men and women living in the UK, many of whom are vegetarian.

The main objective of the study is to examine how diet influences the risk of cancer, particularly for the most common types of cancer in Britain, as well as other chronic diseases. The EPIC-Oxford cohort was recruited between 1993 and 1999. The strategy for establishing the EPIC-Oxford cohort was to recruit participants with a wide range of diets by targeting vegetarians as well as participants from the general UK population. As such EPIC-Oxford is of great scientific value to the EPIC study as a whole, because the diets of vegetarians, and especially vegans, differ substantially from those of meat-eaters and this range in diets makes it easier to detect relationships between nutrition and health. The EPIC study becomes even more valuable for understanding the long-term effects of diet on health as time goes on.

The cohort has completed follow up questionnaires at 5, 10 and 15 years after recruitment. Two 7-day food diaries have been completed by participants, the first six months after recruitment and the second in 2007/2008. Blood samples have been provided by 19,500 participants.

Each participant is followed for cancer incidence and causes of death through the NHS Information Centre, Data Linkage Service, and for the diagnosis in hospital of a restricted range of other diseases (potentially related to diet) through the NHS Hospital Episode Statistics in England, Patient Episode Data for Wales and the Scottish Morbidity Register in Scotland.

Core funders

  • Cancer Research UK



Principal Investigator: Professor Tim Key


EPIC Study
Cancer Epidemiology Unit
Nuffield Department of Population Health
Richard Doll Building
Roosevelt Drive


Tel: 01865 289600

Page last updated: 4 Mar 2015


  • Gender: Male, Female
  • Sample size: 50,000-99,999
  • Age: 40 to 59, 60 to 100
  • Anthropometric: Height, Weight, Waist circumference, Hip circumference, Blood pressure
  • Physical: Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Musculoskeletal, Reproductive
  • Lifestyle: Smoking, Physical activity, Dietary habits, Alcohol
  • Socio-economic: Occupation, Education, Ethnic group, Marital status
  • Biological samples: Blood