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Dr Shaun Scholes
Dr Shaun Scholes profile picture
  • Senior Research Associate
  • Epidemiology & Public Health
  • Institute of Epidemiology & Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Before joining University College London, I was a social statistician at the National Centre for Social Research’s (NatCen) Survey Methods Unit (SMU). I joined NatCen in January 2003 after completing an MSc (with distinction) in Social Statistics at the University of Southampton. I also have an undergraduate degree (first-class) and PhD in social policy from the University of Manchester.

Since I completed my MSc in Social Statistics I have developed considerable skills/experience in: (1) data management/manipulation, (2) statistical analysis and (3) report/academic paper writing. I describe myself as a “social statistician”, that is, someone who can manipulate and analyse data with both speed and accuracy and present the findings in a well-written academic paper and to a non-technical audience. I have also run training courses in statistical analysis both internally here at UCL and externally. Being able to pass on my skills to others is something I enjoy and am passionate about.



Research Themes
Research Summary

In my first post at UCL, I worked on a three-year project looking at the “drivers of longevity” funded by Legal and General (L&G) PLC with Dr Madhavi Bajekal (who is also employed by L&G). In brief, with colleagues (Professors Rosalind Raine at UCL and Simon Capewell at the University of Liverpool) we extended a well-validated model of decline in Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) mortality rates (IMPACTSEC). This model aims to partition the decline in CHD rates over 2000-2007 into contributions from changes in treatment uptake (primary and secondary prevention) and trends in the major risk factors for CHD (e.g. smoking, blood pressure, and cholesterol). From scratch, I have built, populated and quality assured this Excel-based model (estimated to have over 1 million cells) using data from a variety of sources in the UK. The Excel spreadsheet is currently being used by researchers in Scotland, Denmark, and Holland. Data sources used to populate the model included the Health Survey for England, Hospital Episode Statistics, General Practice Research Database, NHS Heart Failure Survey, and the Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINAP). An academic paper outlining the results was published in PLoS Medicine in 2012. Other "spin-off" papers included an analysis of changes in inequalities in risk factors using data from the Health Survey for England (HSE) over a fifteen year period (1994-2008). Two other published papers examined changes in treatment uptake across the main CHD patient groups and changes in heart failure rates.





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