Cohort Profile: DOLORisk Dundee: a longitudinal study of chronic neuropathic pain

Harry Hebert (Lead / Corresponding author), Abirami Veluchamy, Georgios Baskozos, Francesca Fardo, Dimitri Van Ryckeghem, Mathilde Pascal, Claire Jones, Keith Milburn, Ewan Pearson, Geert Crombez, David Bennett, Weihua Meng, Colin Palmer, Blair Smith (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: Neuropathic pain is a common disorder of the somatosensory system that affects 7%–10% of the general population. The disorder places a large social and economic burden on patients as well as healthcare services. However, not everyone with a relevant underlying aetiology develops corresponding pain. DOLORisk Dundee, a European Union-funded cohort, part of the multicentre DOLORisk consortium, was set up to increase current understanding of this variation in onset. In particular, the cohort will allow exploration of psychosocial, clinical and genetic predictors of neuropathic pain onset.

Participants: DOLORisk Dundee has been constructed by rephenotyping two pre-existing Scottish population cohorts for neuropathic pain using a standardised ‘core’ study protocol: Genetics of Diabetes Audit and Research in Tayside Scotland (GoDARTS) (n=5236) consisting of predominantly type 2 diabetics from the Tayside region, and Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study (GS:SFHS; n=20 221). Rephenotyping was conducted in two phases: a baseline postal survey and a combined postal and online follow-up survey. DOLORisk Dundee consists of 9155 participants (GoDARTS=1915; GS:SFHS=7240) who responded to the baseline survey, of which 6338 (69.2%; GoDARTS=1046; GS:SFHS=5292) also responded to the follow-up survey (18 months later).

Findings to date: At baseline, the proportion of those with chronic neuropathic pain (Douleur Neuropathique en 4 Questions questionnaire score ≥3, duration ≥3 months) was 30.5% in GoDARTS and 14.2% in Generation Scotland. Electronic record linkage enables large scale genetic association studies to be conducted and risk models have been constructed for neuropathic pain.

Future plans: The cohort is being maintained by an access committee, through which collaborations are encouraged. Details of how to do this will be available on the study website ( Further follow-up surveys of the cohort are planned and funding applications are being prepared to this effect. This will be conducted in harmony with similar pain rephenotyping of UK Biobank.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere042887
Number of pages11
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number5
Early online date5 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2021


  • Neurological pain (neurology)
  • epidemiology
  • genetics
  • health informatics (biotechnology and bioinformatics)
  • neurological pain
  • health informatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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