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New Hertfordshire Centre for Lifespan and Chronic Illness Research

12.10.2007
The University of Hertfordshire has set up a new centre to study changes in health which occur over the lifespan of an individual.

The Centre for Lifespan and Chronic Illness Research (CLiCIR), headed by Dr David Wellsted, has been set up within the University’s Health and Human Sciences Research Institute, so that predictors of medical, and psychological outcomes over the life span for chronic illnesses such as schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, depression and renal disease can be identified, helping people to live longer and more comfortably with these conditions.

“If we can understand how changes happen over time, we may be able to find ways to intervene earlier,” said Dr Wellsted. “There is a lot of speculation, for example, about renal disease. In this group, one of the main causes of death is infection and due to the fact that renal patients often have a tendency to get depressed, if we can treat the depression which could cause suppression of the immune response, we may be able to help people to live longer fuller lives despite their illness.”

CLiCIR is already involved with funding applications amounting to about £8 million in the fields of adult mental health disorders, studies of a large rheumatoid arthritis cohort and patients with renal disease.

“Our work involves epidemiological studies which attempt to predict change of health status over lengthy periods of time and where there appear to be multiple risk and protective factors which require sophisticated research methods, especially statistical methods,” said Dr Wellstead. ‘Expertise in these particular statistical methods is hard to find so one of our missions is to apply these methods to the benefit of patients, and train graduates in this field.”

Helene Murphy | alfa
Further information:
http://perseus.herts.ac.uk/uhinfo/research/hhsri-new/lifespan-and-chronic-illness/lifespan-and-chronic-illness_home.cfm

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