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The UK Biobank (UKB) is a health research resource of major international importance, incorporating comprehensive characterization of >500 000 men and women recruited between 2006 and 2010 from across the UK. There is prospective tracking of health outcomes for all participants through linkages with national cohorts (death registers, cancer registers, electronic hospital records, and primary care records). The dataset has been enhanced with the UKB imaging study, which aims to scan a subset of 100 000 participants. The imaging protocol includes magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, heart, and abdomen, carotid ultrasound, and whole-body dual X-ray absorptiometry. Since its launch in 2015, over 48 000 participants have completed the imaging study with scheduled completion in 2023. Repeat imaging of 10 000 participants has been approved and commenced in 2019. The cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) scan provides detailed assessment of cardiac structure and function comprising bright blood anatomic assessment (sagittal, coronal, and axial), left and right ventricular cine images (long and short axes), myocardial tagging, native T1 mapping, aortic flow, and imaging of the thoracic aorta. The UKB is an open access resource available to health researchers across all scientific disciplines from both academia and industry with no preferential access or exclusivity. In this paper, we consider how we may best utilize the UKB CMR data to advance cardiovascular research and review notable achievements to date.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging

Publication Date





251 - 258


UK Biobank, big data, cardiovascular magnetic resonance, epidemiology, population health