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UK Biobank

About the cohort

Start date: 2006-10
Age at recruitment: 40-69
Sample size at recruitment: 503,316
Estimated current sample size: 502,713

UK Biobank is a major national health resource, and a registered charity in its own right, with the aim of improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses – including cancer, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, eye disorders, depression and forms of dementia. 

UK Biobank recruited 500,000 people aged between 40-69 years in 2006-2010 from across the country to take part in this project. They have undergone measures, provided blood, urine and saliva samples for future analysis, detailed information about themselves and agreed to have their health followed. The cohort is primarily followed through data linkage but the cohort were re-contacted in 2012-13 with a further 100,000 to be approached over the next few years. Over many years this will build into a powerful resource to help scientists discover why some people develop particular diseases and others do not.

UK Biobank is part of the a multi-million pound public-private partnership to accelerate progress in dementias research 

Core funders

  • Medical Research Council
  • Wellcome Trust
  • Department of Health 
  • National Institute for Health Research
  • British Heart Foundation 
  • Diabetes UK
  • Northwest Regional Development Agency
  • Welsh Government, Scottish Government



Principal Investigator: Professor Sir Rory Collins


UK Biobank’s address is
1-2 Spectrum Way



Tel: 0800 0 276 276

Page last updated: 13 Mar 2015


  • Gender: Male, Female
  • Sample size: 500,000+
  • Age: 40 to 59, 60 to 100
  • Anthropometric: Height, Weight, Waist circumference, Hip circumference, Blood pressure
  • Physical: Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Musculoskeletal, Hearing and vision, Reproductive
  • Psychological: Mental health, Cognitive function
  • Lifestyle: Smoking, Physical activity, Dietary habits, Alcohol
  • Socio-economic: Occupation, Finances, Housing, Education, Ethnic group, Social support
  • Biological samples: Blood, Urine, Saliva