Helena Davies

Thesis title:

Understanding social, genetic and environmental risk factors across eating disorders

Abstract:

Eating disorders are severe psychiatric illnesses associated with greatly reduced quality of life (Ágh et al., 2016) and increased mortality, rendering them the most lethal psychiatric disorders (Chesney, Goodwin, & Fazel, 2014). The overarching aim of this joint KCL and Beat charity project is to explore the social and environmental risk factors for eating disorder using a re¬contactable resource of individuals with a lifetime diagnosis of eating disorders. Specifically, this is the UK Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI) which launches in Feb 2020 (www.edrr.org.uk) and Charlotte’s Helix, which, together will allow Helena to contact >5000 individuals with lived experience of eating disorders. This is modelled on the Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression project (www.gladstudy.org.uk), which is also led by Professor Gerome Breen.Specifically, this ESRC funded studentship will examine (i) the different associations between social risk factors and eating disorders diagnosis and severity; (ii) the influence of health seeking behaviour on eating disorder risk; (iii) the influence of social support networks on outcomes; and (iv) does the integration of genetic risk factors add to the prediction of outcomes?

First supervisor:

Gerome Breen

CASE partner:

Beat – the Eating Disorders Charity

Pathway:

2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health

Cohort:

2019-20