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Heart failure is a common condition requiring hospitalisation that is associated with a high risk of recurrent hospitalisation and premature death. Previous studies have reported high rates of hospital readmission and poor rates of survival among cases with heart failure, but little is known about the epidemiology of heart failure in China.

This DPhil project seeks to assess the incidence, determinants and prognosis of cases with heart failure in Chinese adults.  The China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB) is a cohort study of 0.5M adults aged 30-79 years, which has a 10-year follow-up through linkage to death and disease registries and hospital admission records. To date, there have been ~10,000 incident cases of heart failure. In 2018, additional medical records of diagnosed cases (including clinical, imaging, biochemical data) have been collected to confirm diagnoses and classify subtypes with heart failure. 


The DPhil includes the following research objectives:

  • To confirm reported diagnoses of heart failure and classify subtypes of heart failure in subsets with supporting medical records;
  • To explore use of algorithms for diagnosis of subtypes of heart failure using electronic medical records and additional clinical data collected on subsets of cases;
  • To assess age and sex-specific incidence of heart failure overall, by area, and socioeconomic group;

To estimate relative and absolute risks for recurrent hospital admission and death among individuals with heart failure, overall and by subtypes. 


By the end of their DPhil, it is expected that the candidate will be able to plan, undertake, interpret, and report their findings in a concise manner. The candidate will have acquired transferable skills including writing project proposals and presenting the research findings at local, national, and international meetings. The candidate will be expected to publish at least 3 peer-reviewed papers as lead author by the end of their DPhil.

Prospective candidate

Candidates should have a good degree in Medicine, Public Health or Biomedical Science and have postgraduate training or experience in Epidemiology or Statistics.