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Associate Professor Claire Carson BSc MSc PhD

Senior Researcher in Epidemiology


Claire Carson is a Senior in Epidemiology, based in the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU). She has training in both quantitative and qualitative methods, and specialises in the analysis of observational and routine data. Her research interests include infertility and fertility treatment, preterm birth, and breastfeeding.

Claire joined the NPEU in 2008 to work on a project exploring health outcomes of children born after assisted reproductive technologies (ART) using data from the Millennium Cohort Study. She now holds an MRC Career Development Award to investigate the longer-term outcomes of fertility treatment in women and their children using record linkage (PEARL study). She has recently completed qualitative work to examine how people feel about their fertility data being used in research, and what they understand this to mean (the Taking pART study). Claire is also a co-investigator in the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Maternal and Neonatal Health and Care, leading work on preconception health and postnatal care.

Prior to joining the University of Oxford, Claire was a Research Fellow at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she also completed an MSc and then a PhD in Epidemiology. Claire supervises DPhil students, and enjoys teaching. She is a co-lead for the Maternal and Child Health module in the MSc Global Health Science & Epidemiology, and contributed to the Principles of Epidemiology and Statistics teaching for many years.


Coathup V, Carson C, Kurinzcuk JJ, Macfarlane AJ, Boyle E, Johnson S, Petrou S, Quigley MA, (2021), Associations between gestational age at birth and infection-related hospital admission rates during childhood in England: Population-based record linkage study, PLoS One, 2021;16(9):e0257341.

Li Y, Kurinczuk JJ, Gale C, Siassakos D, Carson C. (2021) Evidence of disparities in the provision of the maternal postpartum 6-week check in primary care in England, 2015–2018: an observational study using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) J Epidemiol Community Health Online First: 09 September 2021. doi: 10.1136/jech-2021-216640

Opondo C, Harrison S, Alderdice F, Carson C, Quigley MA (2021) Electronic cigarette use (vaping) and patterns of tobacco cigarette smoking in pregnancy–evidence from a population-based maternity survey in England. PLoS ONE 16(6): e0252817.

Alterman N, Johnson S, Carson C, et al. (2021) Gestational age at birth and child special educational needs: a UK representative birth cohort study. Arch Dis Child Published Online First: 22 January 2021. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2020-320213

Rahmartani LD, Carson C, Quigley MA. (2020) Prevalence of prelacteal feeding and associated risk factors in Indonesia: Evidence from the 2017 Indonesia Demographic Health Survey. PLoS ONE 2020, 15(12):e0243097

Coathup V, Boyle E, Carson C, et al. (2020) Gestational age and hospital admissions during childhood: population based, record linkage study in England (TIGAR study) BMJ 2020; 371 :m4075

Carson C, Hinton L, Kurinczuk JJ, Quigley MA, 'I haven't met them, I don't have any trust in them. It just feels like a big unknown': a qualitative study exploring the determinants of consent to use Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority registry data in research. BMJ Open 2019;9:e026469. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026469

Simpson DA, Quigley MA, Kurinczuk JJ, Carson C. Twenty-five-year trends in breastfeeding initiation: The effects of sociodemographic changes in Great Britain, 1985-2010. PLoS One, Jan 17;14(1):e0210838. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0210838. eCollection 2019.

Altijani N, Carson C, Choudhury SS, Rani A, Sarma UC, Knight M, Nair M, 'Stillbirth among women in nine states in India: Rate and risk factors in study of 886,505 women from the Annual Health Survey', BMJ Open. 2018 Nov 8;8(11):e022583. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022583.

Henderson J, Carson C, Jayaweera H, Alderdice F, Redshaw M, 'Recency of migration, region of origin and women's experience of maternity care in England: evidence from a large cross-sectional survey,' Midwifery, 2018, Sep 21;67:87-94. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2018.09.008

Leps C, Carson C, Quigley MA, Gestational age at birth and wheezing trajectories at 3–11 years, Arch Dis Child, 2018, Jun 2. pii: archdischild-2017-314541. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2017-314541.

Tiwari S, Gray R, Jenkinson C, Carson C, Association between spousal emotional abuse and reproductive outcomes of women in India: findings from cross-sectional analysis of the 2005-2006 National Family Health Survey, Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2018, May; 53(5):509-519

Quigley MA, Carson C, Kelly Y; Breastfeeding and Childhood Wheeze: Age-specific analyses and longitudinal wheezing phenotypes as complimentary approaches to the analysis of cohort data, Am J Epi, 2018, Apr 3. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwy057. [Epub ahead of print]

Barton K, Redshaw M, Quigley MA, Carson C, Unplanned pregnancy and subsequent psychological distress in partnered women: a cross-sectional study of the role of relationship quality and wider social support. BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth, 2017;17(1):44

Kroll ME, Carson C, Redshaw M, Quigley MA, Early Father Involvement and Subsequent Child Behaviour at Ages 3, 5 and 7 Years: Prospective Analysis of the UK Millennium Cohort Study. PLOS ONE, 2016, 11(9): e0162339. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162339

Henderson J, Carson C, Redshaw M, Impact of preterm birth on maternal well-being and women's perceptions of their baby: a population-based survey, BMJ Open, 2016; 6:e012676. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012676

Quigley M, Carson C, Sacker A, and Kelly Y, Exclusive breastfeeding duration and infant infection, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication 27 July 2016; doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.135

Quigley M, Carson C, Breastfeeding in the 21st century. The Lancet, 387:2087-8, May 2016 [Letter]

Carson C, Redshaw M, Gray R, Quigley MA. Risk of psychological distress in parents of preterm children in the first year: evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. BMJ Open. 2015 Dec 18;5 (12):e007942. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-007942.

Carson C, Children conceived following induced ovulation or intrauterine insemination have a small increased risk of mental disorders. Evidence-based Mental Health 10/2013; DOI: 10.1136/eb-2013-101526 [Invited commentary]

Morinis J, Carson C, Quigley MA Effect of teenage motherhood on cognitive outcomes in children: a population-based cohort study. Arch Dis Child. 2013 Dec;98(12):959-64.

Carson C, A Sacker, Y Kelly, M Redshaw, JJ Kurinczuk, MA Quigley. 'Asthma in children born after infertility treatment: findings from the UK Millennium Cohort Study'. Hum Reprod, 2013, 28(2): 471-9

Carson C, M Redshaw, A Sacker, Y Kelly, JJ Kurinczuk, MA Quigley. 'The effects of pregnancy planning, fertility and Assisted Reproductive Treatment on child behavioural problems at 5 and 7 years: evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study'. Fertility and Sterility, 2013; 99(2): 456-463

Quigley MA, Hockley C, Carson C, Kelly Y, Renfrew MJ, Sacker A. Breastfeeding is Associated with Improved Child Cognitive Development: A Population-Based Cohort Study. J Pediatr, 2012;160:25-32

Carson C, Kelly Y, Kurinczuk JJ, Sacker A, Redshaw M, Quigley MA. The association between pregnancy planning, fertility treatment and childhood cognitive outcomes at 3 and 5 years: evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study. BMJ. 2011 Jul 26; 343

Wannamethee SG, Papacosta O, Whincup PH, Thomas MC, Carson C, Lawlor DA, Ebrahim S, Sattar N. The potential for a two-stage diabetes risk algorithm combining non-laboratory-based scores with subsequent routine non-fasting blood tests: results from prospective studies in older men and women. Diabet Med. 2011 Jan;28(1):23-30

Lois G Kim, Shah Ebrahim, C Carson, Debbie A Lawlor, Geographical Variation in cardiovascular incidence: results from the British Women's Heart and Health Study,BMC Public Health. 2010;10:696.

Gregson CL, Carson C, Amuzu A, Ebrahim S. The association between graded physical activity in postmenopausal British women, and the prevalence and incidence of hip and wrist fractures. Age Ageing. 2010 Sep;39(5):565-74.

Wannamethee SG, Papacosta O, Whincup PH, Carson C, Thomas MC, Lawlor DA, Ebrahim S, Sattar N. Assessing prediction of diabetes in older adults using different adiposity measures: a 7 year prospective study in 6,923 older men and women. Diabetologia. 2010 May;53(5):890-8.

Nitsch D, Lawlor DA, Patel R, Carson C, Ebrahim S. The association of renal impairment with all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2010 Apr;25(4):1191-9.

Jefferis BJ, Lowe GD, Welsh P, Rumley A, Lawlor DA, Ebrahim S, Carson C, Doig M, Feyerabend C, McMeekin L, Wannamethee SG, Cook DG, Whincup PH. Secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure is associated with circulating markers of inflammation and endothelial function in adult men and women. Atherosclerosis. 2010 Feb;208(2):550-6.

Jefferis BJ, Whincup P, Welsh P, Wannamethee G, Rumley A, Lennon L, Thomson A, Lawlor D, Carson C, Ebrahim S, Lowe G. Prospective study of matrix metalloproteinase-9 and risk of myocardial infarction and stroke in older men and women. Atherosclerosis. 2010 Feb;208(2):557-63.

Carson C, Kurinczuk JJ, Sacker A, Kelly Y, Klemetti R, Redshaw M, Quigley MA. Cognitive development following ART: effect of choice of comparison group, confounding and mediating factors. Hum Reprod. 2010 Jan;25(1):244-52.

Kamaruzzaman S, Watt H, Carson C, Ebrahim S. The association between orthostatic hypotension and medication use in the British Women's Heart and Health Study. Age Ageing. 2010 Jan;39(1):51-6.

Jefferis BJ, Whincup PH, Welsh P, Wannamethee SG, Rumley A, Lennon LT, Thomson AG, Carson C, Ebrahim S, Lowe GD. Circulating TNFalpha levels in older men and women do not show independent prospective relations with MI or stroke. Atherosclerosis. 2009 Jul;205(1):302-8.

Amuzu A, Carson C, Watt HC, Lawlor DA, Ebrahim S. Influence of area and individual lifecourse deprivation on health behaviours: findings from the British Women's Heart and Health Study. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2009 Apr;16(2):169-73

Watt HC, Carson C, Lawlor DA, Patel R, Ebrahim S. Influence of life course socioeconomic position on older women's health behaviors: findings from the British Women's Heart and Health Study. Am J Public Health. 2009 Feb;99(2):320-7.

Andersen AF, Carson C, Watt HC, Lawlor DA, Avlund K, Ebrahim S. Life-course socio-economic position, area deprivation and Type 2 diabetes: findings from the British Women's Heart and Health Study. Diabetes Medicine. 2008 Dec;25(12):1462-8.

Carson C, Hajat S, Armstrong B, Wilkinson P. Declining vulnerability to temperature-related mortality in London over the 20th century. Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Jul 1;164(1):77-84. Epub 2006 Apr 19

Maconochie N, Doyle P, Carson C. Infertility among male UK veterans of the 1990-1 Gulf war: reproductive cohort study. BMJ. 2004 Jul 24;329(7459):196-201. Epub 2004 Jul 14.