Cohort Summary Statistics

The Airwave Health Monitoring Study (AHMS) is an observational study of presumed-healthy members of the Police Service which is managed and run by the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Imperial College London. We believe it to be the only large-scale cohort study of police employees anywhere in the world. It includes a group – younger men aged between twenty and forty years – who are particularly under-represented in the UK research portfolio, who have proven hard to engage in primary prevention, and have least routine contact with primary care.

The cohort has been richly phenotyped, flagged to routine records, and has a substantial biobank of blood and urine samples. It provides an excellent and unique resource to study the genetic, metabolic, occupational and lifestyle factors associated with mental health and cognitive performance among a predominantly male and young adult workforce with a well-defined organisational hierarchy.

Established in 2003 to evaluate possible health risks associated with the use of the Airwave digital communication system, AHMS was funded for 17 years by the Home Office. It is now supported by grants from both Imperial College Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), and Medical Research Council (MRC).

Now having tissue-bank status, AHMS remains a long-term observational study and continues to follow-up the health of its participants. However, its primary purpose now is to support broader research into common diseases affecting this well-defined occupational group. Researchers can apply to an Access Committee for access to samples and data in order to carry out their own research projects. As members of the Dementia Platform UK (DPUK) public-private partnership, researchers can build a virtual cohort of participants from the many cohorts registered with DPUK. Their choice of participants can be selected from their existing genotype and / or phenotype; and in most cases participants may be invited to join separate research projects or clinical trials.

Sex

Mean Age (Years) at
September 2020

Mean Cohort Years

Participants with Biosamples

Participants

Female

49.2

10.8

16946

19535

Male

51.4

10.9

28963

33628

Total

50.7

10.8

45940

53163

We have carried out genotyping and metabolomic analysis on part of the sample collection and have collected these data:

  • Genotyping with an Illumina HumanExome chip: 2,015 samples.
  • Genotyping with an Illumina HumanCoreExome chip: 14,733 samples.
  • Genotyping with an Affymetrix chip: 4,204 samples.
  • Metabolomic analysis on blood and urine for 3,000 samples at the National Phenome Centre.
  • Metabolomic analysis on blood alone for 1,000 samples at the National Phenome Centre.
  • Metabolomic analysis on blood 2,250 samples at Metabolon.