Exploring outcomes from pregnancies following bariatric surgery
Applications are invited for a 3-year fully-funded PhD studentship starting October 2023.
Bariatric surgery is the most clinically and cost-effective treatment for severe obesity. Around 50% of female patients who have bariatric surgery are of child-bearing age. Given the impact of obesity on fertility and pregnancy outcomes, improving fertility can be a reason given for wanting bariatric surgery.
Current recommendations advise women to wait 12-18 months post-surgery before conceiving due to concerns associated with the rapid weight loss post-surgery. It is also advised that women who conceive post-bariatric surgery have consultant-led obstetric care and nutritional supplementation and monitoring adjusted during pregnancy. However, it is not known if this guidance is followed. There is also a need for more robust epidemiological data on outcomes from pregnancies post-bariatric surgery.
This PhD will investigate outcomes from post-bariatric surgery pregnancies using routine primary care data (Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD)) linked with hospital admissions data. CPRD encompasses data from 60million patients of whom 16million are currently registered. It is linked to a range of other health-related datasets and representative of the UK population. During this PhD several cohort/matched cohort studies using these data will be conducted exploring outcomes from pregnancies post-bariatric surgery.
You will be well supported by the supervisory team. Dr Helen Parretti has a national reputation in the long-term care post-bariatric surgery. Co-supervisors Prof Alex MacGregor and Dr Kathryn Richardson are highly experienced in using and analysing CPRD data and are members of the Norwich Epidemiology Centre, which will provide additional support as required. At the start of the studentship you will be supported to identify your training needs and attend appropriate training. During the PhD you will develop skills in health informatics and have opportunities to submit your results for publication and present at national and international conferences. There may be potential for external collaborations during the PhD.
An acceptable first degree in a subject such as health sciences, biomedical sciences, MBBS/MBChB, psychology, computer science or mathematics/statistics. Standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1(Hons) (or pass for MBBS/MBChB degrees).