Coronavirus: How YOU can help

A new study seeks to understand who is most at risk of contracting COVID-19 and it needs your help

Led by Queen Mary University of London, COVIDENCE-UK is a new study hoping to recruit at least 12,000 people, aged 16 or over, from across the UK. The research team are looking to recruit a diverse group of volunteering, including those that have been proven or suspected to have had COVID-19, along with individuals who have not. The team are also hoping to gain information from those with and without underlying health conditions such as lung disease, heart disease and diabetes to help answer some of the many COVID-19 questions still left unanswered.

“We know that people with certain medical conditions seem to be at increased risk of coronavirus disease. However, we don’t know why this is. Is it because people with these conditions tend to be older? Is it something to do with the underlying condition itself? Could particular medications affect the risk? Or are lifestyle factors such as smoking or different dietary patterns which tend to go along with some of these conditions important? The answers to these questions could help us to devise new strategies to reduce infection risk, while we are waiting for an effective vaccine to come along”, says study lead, Adrian Martineau, Professor of Respiratory Infection and Immunity at Queen Mary University of London. 

To collect the data needed, participants of the study will be asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire about their medical history, lifestyle and social distancing behaviour. Monthly updates will then tack any new symptoms and will automatically use NHS records to include test results and hospitalisations.

“If we can reach our 12,000 target, particularly if a significant proportion of participants have already had a positive test for COVID-19, then we should be able to get some early results in the next few weeks,” says Professor Martineau. “We also hope to understand why the severity of the disease differs so much across individuals, with some having no symptoms to otherwise healthy young people – albeit in small numbers – dying from the disease.”

For more information about the study or how sign up to COVIDENCE-UK click HERE


For more science and technology articles, pick up the latest copy of How It Works from all good retailers or from our website now. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. To make sure you never miss an issue of How It Works magazine, subscribe today!