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Healthy living and ageing

Healthy living and ageing

Healthy living and ageing research aims to understand and support studies on longevity and well-being from genetic, molecular and cellular factors and processes.

Overview

Healthy living and ageing affords people the environment and the opportunity to do what they value in their lifetime. Disease is the main threat to people’s wellbeing. The top causes of death in the UK in 2018 were:

  • dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • ischaemic heart diseases
  • cerebrovascular diseases
  • chronic lower respiratory diseases
  • lung cancer.

Our aims

We are developing the novel methods combined with engineering for the prevention, early detection and diagnosis, and treatment of age-related diseases and their risk factors.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions

MSK conditions affect millions of people each year, impacting their ability to live and age healthily. Conditions include:

  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • gout
  • back pain
  • neck pain
  • fibromyalgia
  • osteoporosis.

In 2017 these conditions accounted for more than 22% of the total burden of ill health in the UK. The prevalence of these diseases increases significantly with age.

More than 50% of over 65 year olds in the UK are living with at least one MSK condition. This can mean living in pain and having to deal with functional limitations that can impact everyday life such as loss of dexterity, strength and mobility.

Impacts

  • Pain and functional limitations can subsequently cause fatigue and depression.
  • MSK pain is one of the key barriers to maintaining physical activity and can be considered a key factor in onset of frailty.
  • Loss of participation have a serious and significant impact on an individual’s enjoyment of life. People with MSK conditions are more likely to have a lower quality of life than those without MSK conditions.
  • Osteoarthritis in particular causes both premature ageing and premature mortality. People with osteoarthritis have an increased risk of dying than people of a similar age.

Our research areas

Or research team are aiming to improve healthy ageing for those suffering from MSK conditions through:

  • conducting research into the causes and patterns of MSK diseases to better understand factors affecting their onset and progression
  • conducting research into treatments including surgery and rehabilitation monitoring
  • providing a resource for clinicians, stakeholders and partners.

Other research areas

  • cancer early diagnostics and treatment
  • stem cell therapy
  • lab-on-a-chip
  • ultrasound
  • medical imaging
  • microfluidics
  • biosensors
  • muscular skeleton
  • biomechanics
  • motion analysis
  • brain medical physics and clinical engineering
  • medical radiation physics and engineering
  • medical applications of radioactivity
  • nuclear medicine physics
  • measurement of bone density and body composition
  • molecular radiotherapy
  • radiotherapy treatment planning
  • injury prevention
  • light-weighting
  • additive manufacturing for medical application
  • orthopedics: the effects of treatments, surgical efficacy and planning, functional classification and monitoring patient recovery
  • development of methods for motion-correction for ultra-high-resolution imaging.

People

Theme leaders

Professor Cathy Holt

Professor Cathy Holt

Professor
Director of Biomechanics Research

Email
holt@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4533
Dr Xin Yang (Chris)

Dr Xin Yang (Chris)

Senior Lecturer

Email
yangx26@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5708

Research team

Professor Johannes Benedikt

Professor Johannes Benedikt

Professor

Email
benedikt@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6919
Professor William Evans

Professor William Evans

Honorary Professor

Welsh speaking
Email
evanswd1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)77 0217 4012
Dr Zhihua Xie

Dr Zhihua Xie

Senior Lecturer

Email
zxie@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 9375
Dr Zhangming Wu

Dr Zhangming Wu

Lecturer

Email
wuz12@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4542
Dr Emiliano Spezi

Dr Emiliano Spezi

Reader - Teaching and Research

Email
espezi@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6521
Dr Peter Theobald

Dr Peter Theobald

Senior Lecturer - Teaching and Research

Email
theobaldps@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4726
Dr Daniel Gallichan

Dr Daniel Gallichan

Lecturer in Medical Imaging

Email
gallichand@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 0045
Dr Rhys Morris

Dr Rhys Morris

Honorary Research Fellow

Welsh speaking
Email
morrisrj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
029 2074 2015
Dr Gemma Whatling

Dr Gemma Whatling

Senior Lecturer - Teaching and Research

Email
whatlinggm@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6348
Dr Yulia Hicks

Dr Yulia Hicks

Senior Lecturer - Teaching and Research

Email
hicksya@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5945
Dr Xianfang Sun

Dr Xianfang Sun

Senior Lecturer

Email
sunx2@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 9355