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Dr Nick Townsend

Nick Townsend


Senior Researcher and Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology Programme Leader, CPNP

  • University Research Lecturer

Nick is the lead on the British Heart Foundation (BHF) funded cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemiology research programme. A major part of this programme is the BHF Heart statistics which provide up-to-date statistics on CVD and associated risk factors within the UK. Research within this programme includes modelling the future burden of CVD, investigations into regional, social, ethnic and temporal trends in CVD and improving estimates of the incidence and other aspects of the burden of CVD. Research projects completed within the CVD epidemiology programme include the EuroHeart II study for which Nick was a work package leader, producing a report on European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics, and a new analysis of age- and sex-specific trends in CVD in Europe.

As a part of the CVD epidemiology programme Nick collaborates with other members of the British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention (BHF CPNP) on a number of projects studying the promotion of healthy dietary choice and physical activity from a population health perspective. He has a particular interest in the determinants of obesity, health promotion in schools and community interventions and has developed a number of research programmes in these areas.  Before becoming leader of the CVD epidemiology programme Nick was a member of the National Obesity Observatory (NOO), now a part of Public Health England, and he continues to collaborate with members of NOO on research into obesity. He has also recently published a book with Elsevier providing a comprehensive guide to obesity for public health workers and researchers. This interest in the determinants of childhood obesity includes school approaches to health promotion, which builds on his PhD studying whole school approaches to healthy eating along with research into Healthy Schools, which Nick completed at Cardiff University before joining the BHF CPNP.

Nick is also developing research programmes focusing on community interventions, with a particular interest in low and middle income countries. This includes the World Bank funded Integrating Nutrition Promotion And Rural Development (INPARD) project, taking place in Sri Lanka for which Nick is the research lead. This project involves close collaboration with a number of international partners, in particular the University of Colombo and government departments including the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health.

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Recent Publications

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