LONDON, October 22, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A seven-year Medical Research Council (MRC) study - the most ethnically diverse of its kind in London - is setting out to gather another raft of data from its participants and shed light on the future health of our multi-cultural capital. The study examines how factors such as poverty, family life, jobs, education and neighbourhoods affect health throughout adolescence to adulthood.

The DASH study, which follows 6,500 young people in London, speaking more than 50 languages between them, began in 50 schools in 10 London boroughs - some of which are the most deprived areas in the city.

Despite more deprivation and the known inequalities in health in their parents' generations, surprisingly, DASH has found that young people from ethnic minority backgrounds are doing well across key health indicators. This next stage of study will determine whether or not the young people, now aged 19-21 years, will retain this good health as they grow older, which factors promote good or poor health, and how to keep people healthy, regardless of their ethnic background.

Dr Seeromanie Harding, from the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow, who leads the study, said:

DASH is the first study to cover a range of ethnic minority groups in the capital. We know there is ethnic variation in health in adulthood, but less is known about adolescence and young adulthood and the factors affecting these groups, such as family life and affluence. To find out how these factors affect their transition to adulthood, we've sent another questionnaire to find out how they are doing now and what has changed in their lives since the last survey in 2006. We'd urge everyone to complete them and send them back as soon as possible.

We've been blown away by the commitment from the teenagers and schools involved. Their contribution will help improve the health of young people from all walks of life and ethnicities in future.

DASH participants can complete the questionnaire online at: A paper version is also in the post. Alternatively, participants can text 'DASH' to '88802' and complete the survey over the phone. The questionnaire is very short and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Notes to Editors

1. 51 schools across 10 London boroughs (Brent, Croydon, Hackney, Hammersmith Fulham, Haringey, Lambeth, Newham, Southwark, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth) took part in DASH.

2. 12 research papers have been published from the study to date. All are published at:

3. Example finding: Black African and Black Caribbean boys had higher average blood pressures than White boys by age 14 to 16 years. The follow-up of DASH participants will enable researchers to examine whether higher average blood pressures at this young age will affect their heart disease risks in later life.

To arrange an interview with the scientists about DASH findings relevant to your communities, please contact the MRC Press Office on +44(0)207-6376011 or email

SOURCE: Medical Research Council

CONTACT: To arrange an interview with the scientists about DASH findingsrelevant to your communities, please contact the MRC Press Office on +44(0)207-6376011 or email