The Thai Cohort Study was established in 2005 in order to study the dynamics, drivers and impacts of the population transition from high maternal and child mortality and infectious disease to low mortality and chronic disease. We call this the ‘health-risk transition’ – synchronised change in causal risks and health outcomes affecting whole populations, with Thailand being a good example in the SE Asia region. This transition can be divided into overlapping or interacting component transitions such as the nutrition transition, the health system transition, sexual transition, the transport transition, the (formal) work transition and the environment transition (including urbanisation). As our understanding improves we are better able to inform governments about changing health service demands and changing prevention needs — with universal
health insurance and Thai obesity research being two prominent examples of national response.

Cohort members are distance-learning students who resided nationwide and were enrolled at the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University when they responded to a 20-page baseline questionnaire in 2005 (n= 87,151). A four and eight year follow-up were conducted with a response rate of approximately 70% at each follow-up (n=60,569 in 2009 and n=42,785 in 2013). At 2005 baseline, median age was 29 years, roughly half the sample were females, and approximately half were urban residents.

For mortality data linkage, all cohort members have provided their Citizen ID number which was matched with death records from the Thai Ministry of Interior and subsequently linked with causes of death from the Ministry of Public Health. Up until November 2016, there were a total of 1,401 deaths among the Thai Cohort Study participants.

Last update: 22/01/2017