Dr Naomi Launders is a Research Fellow in the Division of Psychiatry at UCL. Her research interests centre around how having a mental health condition affects physical health. She has over 10 years’ experience of using routine data, and her skills include the use of cutting edge statistical, epidemiological and data science methodologies to answer complex questions with clinical and public policy impact. She currently works on DATAMIND, an HDR UK datahub aiming to transform how data is used for mental health research in the UK. As part of this work Naomi has been focusing on how severe mental illness is defined in electronic health records, the availability of cardiovascular risk factor data in primary care, and who with severe mental illness receives physical health checks. She is also working on a UKRI grant, using target trial emulation in electronic health records to better understand the possibility of repurposing statins to improving psychiatric symptoms in people with severe mental illness.

Naomi completed her PhD at UCL, where she used electronic health records to study the physical health of people with severe mental illness. This work was funded by Public Health England and the Office for Health Improvements and Disparities, and she is a member of the Office for Health Improvements and Disparities severe mental illness steering group.

About Naomi’s Big Data for Complex Disease Fellowship project

Cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are the two most common causes of mortality in the UK. Given the known health inequalities in prevention, treatment and outcomes of cancer and CVD in people with mental illness, it is important that research focusing on CVD and cancer includes mental health as a factor. It is desirable to identify patient groups less likely to access cancer or CVD screening, or more likely to suffer missed or late diagnoses.

This project aims to draw on Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and other routinely collected data across the UK to quantify differences in cancer and CVD diagnosis rates and outcomes across mental health conditions, social determinants of health and other patient characteristics. It also aims to establish which patient characteristics lead to the co-occurrence of CVD, cancer and severe and complex mental illness (SCMI).