Based at the University of Bristol, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), also known as Children of the 90s, is a world-leading birth cohort study. Between April 1991 and December 1992 more than 14,000 pregnant women were recruited into the study and these women (some of whom had two pregnancies or multiple births during the recruitment period), the children arising from the pregnancy, and their partners have been followed up over two decades.

The cohort has been followed intensively with annual questionnaires for the mothers, fathers and the children from age 5. A 10% sample of children were seen 10 times between 4 and 61 months for clinic assessment. Annual clinic assessment of the whole cohort was conducted from the age of 7 to 13 and 15 to 17. Assessment at age 24/25 is currently planned.

Record linkage has been completed for Education, Hospital Episode Statistics, Clinical Practice Research Datalink and Death notification and cancer cases.

1 million biological samples are held including maternal blood and urine, umbilical cord blood, placentas, paternal blood and saliva and children’s blood, saliva and urine.

The study has been extended to include grandparents, siblings, and children of the children and recruitment is underway.

ALSPAC is part of CLOSER (Cohort & Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources) which aims to maximise the use, value and impact of the UK’s longitudinal studies.

Last update: 12/01/2017

The NSHD has informed UK health care, education and social policy for more than 70 years and is the oldest and longest running of the British birth cohort studies. Today, with study members in their seventies, the NSHD offers a unique opportunity to explore the long-term biological and social processes of ageing and how ageing is affected by factors acting across the whole of life. From an initial maternity survey of 13,687 of all births recorded in England, Scotland and Wales during one week of March, 1946, a socially stratified sample of 5,362 singleton babies born to married parents was selected for follow-up. This sample comprises the NSHD cohort and participants have been studied 24 times throughout their life.

During their childhood, the main aim of the NSHD was to investigate how the environment at home and at school affected physical and mental development and educational attainment. During adulthood, the main aim was to investigate how childhood health and development and lifetime social circumstances affected their adult health and function and how these change with age.

Now, as participants reach retirement, the research team is developing the NSHD into a life course study of ageing. Study members completed a postal questionnaire in 2014 and participated in a home visit in 2015/16, where data on health, lifestyle and life circumstances as well as obtaining repeat physical and cognitive measurements were collected. Over the past two years, a subset of 500 study members were invited to participate in a neuroimaging sub-study and over the next two years they will be recalled for a follow-up. This study will be conducted in collaboration with the Institute of Neurology, UCL.

NSHD is part of CLOSER (Cohort & Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources) which aims to maximise the use, value and impact of the UK’s longitudinal studies.
NSHD is part of the Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), a multi-million pound public-private partnership to accelerate progress in dementias research

Last update: 19/12/2016

The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) is a multi-disciplinary research project following the lives of around 19,000 children born in the UK in 2000-01. It is the most recent of Britain’s world-renowned national longitudinal birth cohort studies. The study has been tracking the Millennium children through their early childhood years and plans to follow them into adulthood. It collects information on the childrens siblings and parents. MCS’s field of enquiry covers such diverse topics as parenting; childcare; school choice; child behaviour and cognitive development; child and parental health; parents employment and education; income and poverty; housing, neighbourhood and residential mobility; and social capital and ethnicity.

The children and families have been contacted 6 times since recruitment at ages nine months, 3, 5, 7, 11 & 14 years.

MCS is part of CLOSER (Cohort & Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources) which aims to maximise the use, value and impact of the UK’s longitudinal studies.

Last update: 16/01/2017

The participants of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 were recruited to the project because they had taken part in the Scottish Mental Survey 1947. This followed the Scottish Mental Survey of 1932 from which the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 was established.
The surveys had, respectively, tested the intelligence of almost every child born in 1921 or 1936 and attending school in Scotland in the month of June in those years. Tracing, recruiting and re-testing people who had taken part in the Surveys offered a rare opportunity to examine the distribution and causes of cognitive ageing across most of the human life course.

The LBC1936 began in 2004 and recruited 1091 of the 70,805 individuals who had taken part in the 1947 survey. The LBC1936 have been examined at mean ages of 70, 73, 76 and 79 years. The cohort has a wide range of variables: genome-wide genotyping, demographics, psycho-social and lifestyle factors, cognitive functions, medical history and examination, biomarkers (from blood and urine) and a detailed structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scan.

Last update: 08/12/2016

The Boyd Orr cohort is an historical cohort study carried out by the University of Bristol School of Social Medicine to investigate the long term impact of children’s diet, growth, living conditions and health on adult cardiovascular disease. It is based upon based on the 65 year follow-up of the Carnegie Survey of Diet and Health (1937-9).

It is based on the long term follow-up of 4,999 children who were surveyed in the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust’s study of Family Diet and Health in Pre-War Britain (1937-1939). With funding from the British Heart Foundation, the cohort was established in 1988 by Professors George Davey Smith and Stephen Frankel who retrieved the original research records of the pre-war survey from the Rowett Research Institute.


Last update: 11/01/2017