Article The Airwave Health Monitoring study

What is it and what does it include?

The Airwave Health Monitoring Study was established in 2004 to investigate possible long-term health effects associated with use of TETRA, the radio system used by the police service in Great Britain since 2001. It is a long-term observational study following up the health of the police force with respect to TETRA exposure, and ability to monitor both cancer and non-cancer health outcomes. Baseline screening consisted of an enrolment questionnaire and a health screening. A total of 55,000 participants completed the enrollment questionnaire, of which 46,000 also completed the health screening.

Has this dataset helped researchers understand Alzheimer’s and other dementias better?

Of course!

  • AD & Multi-omics:

In 2022, researchers performed a metabolome-wide association study (MWAS) of the blood plasma metabolome for AD risk loci carriers using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of blood from 3258 individuals from the Airwave Health Monitoring Study (Airwave) to investigate the relationship between the human blood metabolome and AD risk. Their results highlight the suitability of integrating multi-omics data into GSMNs to identify metabolic alterations in AD. Furthermore, more than 70% of 298 SNP-metabolite associations in an MWAS corresponded to lipid species, thus validating the presence of lipidomic dysregulation in AD. November 2022  – DOI:

  • AD & Metabolomics:

In 2020, investigators developed a model of age based on untargeted metabolic profiling across multiple platforms, including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry in urine and serum, using data from the UK Airwave cohort to investigate the determinants of accelerated aging, including lifestyle and psychological risk factors for premature mortality. Their results showed that increased metabolomic age acceleration (mAA) was associated after false discovery rate (FDR) correction with overweight/obesity, diabetes, heavy alcohol use and depression. DNA methylation age acceleration measures were uncorrelated with mAA. Furthermore, increased DNA methylation phenotypic age acceleration was associated after FDR correction with heavy alcohol use, hypertension and low income. In conclusion, metabolomics is a promising approach for the assessment of biological age and appears complementary to established epigenetic clocks. June 2020. DOI: 10.1111/acel.13149

Manuscripts citing this dataset

  • These are publications from scientific journals which have resulted or benefited from the data or samples collected by the Airwave Study: publications.

Request access

Data access can be requested via AD Workbench FAIR portal here. Follow our application guidance in FAIR to avoid rejection. Access requests are reviewed by the DPUK team. Once your access has been provisioned, you will receive an email with instructions for federated access including a link to access your API token. For a quick explanation on what is federated data and how to access it, see this video.

*Information required for this dataset access application:
  1. Study name
  2. Study overview
  3. Co-applicant names, emails, and organizations
  4. Intended start date
  5. Intended end date
  6. Scientific rationale
  7. Analysis plan
  8. Public interest rationale


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