The initial aims were to examine the importance of lipids, haemostatic factors, and hormones such as testosterone, cortisol and insulin (Lichtenstein et al 1987) in the development of ischaemic heart disease (IHD). Subsequently, other hypotheses were included with a specific interest in platelet function, and psychosocial variables. With the ageing of the cohort, additional outcomes have been included in particular stroke, hearing problems and cognitive function.

The initial design attempted to contact all men aged 45 to 59 years from the town of Caerphilly and adjoining villages. 2512 subjects (response rate 89%) identified from the electoral register and general practice lists were examined between July 1979 until September 1983 (phase I).

Men were initially seen at an evening clinic, where they completed a questionnaire, had anthropometric measures and an ECG taken. They also completed a food frequency questionnaire at home (Fehily et al 1994). They subsequently re-attended an early morning clinic to have fasting blood samples for a wide variety of tests.
Quality control was examined by the use of both “blind” split samples as well as a second repeat measure on a random sub-sample to examine intra-individual variation.

The men have been followed up 5 times; Phase II (July 1984-June 1988), Phase III (Nov 1989-Sep 1993), Phase IV (Oct 1993-Feb 1997) and two further occasions via post. An additional 447 men were included in the survey at Phase II.

Last update – 11/04/2017

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 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