Epidemiology of multimorbidity in rural and peri-urban India - NU/LSHTM project

Title of PhD project / theme

Epidemiology of multimorbidity in rural and peri-urban India

Supervisory team

NU: Hirotomo Yamanashi

LSHTM: Sanjay Kinra (lead)

Brief description of project / theme

India’s rural population (~900 million) is experiencing a rapid rise in risk factors for chronic conditions associated with urbanisation. This is expected to result in a huge increase in burden from multimorbidity. Yet, there are hardly any data on incidence and risk factors of multimorbidity from rural India. 

Andhra Pradesh Children and Parents Study (APCAPs) is a prospective household cohort of ~7000 people living in 29 villages near Hyderabad city, Telangana state, India. 

The peri-urban study villages are experiencing urbanisation. In the last survey conducted in 2010-12, we have collected high-quality data on chronic diseases and their lifestyle and environmental risk factors (such as built environment and air quality). We have recently received funding to re-examine the cohort in 2021-22 and collect data on chronic diseases and their risk factors, including blood metabolite data to allow investigation into disease mechanisms. The objectives of the planned data collection are to a) establish the incidence and risk factors of multimorbidity, and b) explore disease mechanisms using blood metabolite data.

The PhD student will be treated as a core member of the research team and be involved in all aspects of the study including data collection and analysis. Based on the PhD student’s background and interests an appropriate research topic will be identified within the overarching theme of lifecourse and environmental risk factors of multimorbidity.

The supervisors are already collaborating well on multimorbidity research (see, Yamanashi H, et al. Association between atherosclerosis and handgrip strength in non-hypertensive populations in India and Japan. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2018;18:1071-78).

Particular prior educational requirements for a student undertaking this project

- A graduate degree in Public Health discipline with a strong component of epidemiology and biostatistics  

-Verbal and written English proficiency

Skills we expect a student to develop/acquire whilst pursuing this project

- Research methods and epidemiology

- Management and analysis of large datasets

- Lifecourse analysis

- Scientific communication and writing skills including paper and grant writing