The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) follows the lives of more than 17,000 people born in England, Scotland and Wales in a single week of 1970. Over the course of cohort members lives, the BCS70 has collected information on health, physical, educational and social development, and economic circumstances among other factors.
The Confucius Hometown Aging Project (CHAP) is a longitudinal study of vascular risk factors, ageing, and health in people aged 60 years or older who live in a rural community near Qufu (hometown of Confucius), Shandong, China. The study was done by local hospital staff consisting of clinicians and nurses.
The EPIPorto study is a landmark in epidemiological research in Portugal. It is a population-based cohort study, ongoing for over 15 years, with the main aim of assessing the determinants of health in the adult population of Porto. For this purpose we randomly selected 2485 persons, who have been repeatedly evaluated over time.
Participants were invited to visit the study centre to answer a questionnaire on social, demographic and behavioural characteristics, and their clinical history. Additionally, objective measurements were made, including blood tests, blood pressure, weight and height, electrocardiogram, evaluation of lung function and bone mineral density. The participants address was georeferenced, allowing the analysis of the spatial distribution of health states and events in the city. Subgroups of the cohort at the baseline evaluation were used as controls in case-control studies namely on myocardial infarction and gastric cancer.
JSTAR project researchers aimed to construct a world-class longitudinal dataset on middle-aged and elderly Japanese persons to enable researchers worldwide to perform scientific investigation on aging and retirement from an international perspective. Despite the rapid aging of the Japanese population, no statistical survey that could properly capture the diversity of the elderly population from various viewpoints had been carried out in Japan until recently. RIETI, Hitotsubashi University jointly launched a comprehensive survey of elderly people in 2007 to collect panel data on their lives and health, with the University of Tokyo joining from 2009 onward.
The 2009 JSTAR survey includes a follow-up survey of the respondents to the 2007 survey and an initial survey of elderly people in two additional municipalities, i.e., Tosu in Saga Prefecture and Naha in Okinawa Prefecture, whereas the 2011 JSTAR Survey includes follow-up surveys of the respondents to the 2007 and 2009 surveys plus an initial survey of elderly people in three additional municipalities, Tondabayashi, Chofu, and Hiroshima
The National Child Development Study (NCDS) is a longitudinal study which follows the lives of 17,000 people born in England, Scotland and Wales in a single week of 1958. Also known as the 1958 Birth Cohort Study, it collects information on physical and educational development, economic circumstances, employment, family life, health behaviour, wellbeing, social participation and attitudes.
Since the birth survey in 1958, there have been nine further sweeps of all cohort members at ages 7, 11, 16, 23, 33, 42, 46, 50 and 55. In 2003 (at age 45), 9,000 cohort members also participated in a special bio-medical survey to learn more about how development, environments and lifestyles affect peoples health. CLS will carry out a new survey of the NCDS cohort at age 60 in 2018.
NCDS is part of CLOSER (Cohort & Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources) which aims to maximise the use, value and impact of the UK’s longitudinal studies.
LifeGene is a national collaborative project designed to build up a resource for research in all medical disciplines, enabling new and groundbreaking research on the relationships among heredity, environment and lifestyle. The study includes studying several hundred thousand Swedes with the aim of creating new tools to prevent, diagnose and treat our most common diseases. LifeGene constitutes a platform for a myriad of biomedical research projects. Researchers not only in biomedicine and biotechnology but also behavioral and social sciences may benefit from access to LifeGene. By combining a biological perspective with e-epidemiology, LifeGene opens up new possibilities for a greater understanding of the interplay between heredity, lifestyle and the environment as regards to our most common diseases.
The Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS II) was established by Dr. Walter Willett and colleagues in 1989 with funding from the National Institutes of Health to study oral contraceptives, diet, and lifestyle risk factors in a population younger than the original NHS cohort.
Why a new cohort of nurses?
This younger generation of nurses included women who started using oral contraceptives during adolescence and were thus maximally exposed during their early reproductive life. Several case-control studies suggesting such exposures might be associated with substantial increases in breast cancer risk provided a particularly strong justification for investment in this large cohort. Researchers also planned to collect detailed information on the types of oral contraceptives used, which was not obtained in the Nurses’ Health Study.
In addition, NHS II obtained information on physical activity and diet in adolescence and early adult life.
The Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) is an NHLBI-funded observational study of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in adults 65 years or older. Starting in 1989, and continuing through 1999, participants underwent annual extensive clinical examinations. Measurements included traditional risk factors such as blood pressure and lipids as well as measures of subclinical disease, including echocardiography of the heart, carotid ultrasound, and cranial magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI). At six month intervals between clinic visits, and once clinic visits ended, participants were contacted by phone to ascertain hospitalizations and health status.
Information on dementia comes from two Ancillary Studies. The CHS Cognition Study (Dr. Lewis Kuller, PI) included 3608 participants who had an MRI in 1992-94 and who were followed for dementia through 1999. A follow-up study was done at the Pittsburgh field center that included 532 participants followed through 2013 (Dr. Oscar Lopez,PI).
The Malaysian Cohort study was initiated in 2005 by the Malaysian government. The top-down approach to this population-based cohort study ensured the allocation of sufficient funding for the project which aimed to recruit 100 000 individuals aged 3570 years. Participants were recruited from rural and urban areas as well as from various socioeconomic groups. The main objectives of the study were to identify risk factors, to study gene-environment interaction and to discover biomarkers for the early detection of cancers and other diseases. At recruitment, a questionnaire-based interview was conducted, biophysical measurements were performed and biospecimens were collected, processed and stored. Baseline investigations included fasting blood sugar, fasting lipid profile, renal profile and full blood count. Active follow-up and reassessment started in 2013 and to date 35,000 participants have been reassessed including biospecimens.
The West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study: ‘Health in the community’ was set up in 1986 in order to investigate the reasons for differences in health by socio-economic circumstances, gender, the place where people live, age, ethnic group and family type.
The basic design of the Study involved recruiting three cohorts (groups) of volunteers, each group born twenty years apart. Members of the oldest cohort were born around 1932, those in the middle cohort were born in 1952, and those in the youngest cohort were born in 1972. A total of 4,510 people agreed to take part, and have been followed for 20 years. The final wave of data collection was completed in 2008. This means that when the Study began (1987/8) participants were 15, 35 or 55 years old, and by the end of the Study (2007/8), participants were 35, 55 and 75 years old.
The data collected are extensive and include self-reported mental and physical health (including chronic conditions, medications, disabilities); physical measures; biomarkers; cognition; life circumstances (including employment, housing, family); health behaviours; beliefs, attitudes and values. The cohort is being followed up for mortality using linkage to national records. Any data on neurodegenerative disease are from self-reported health and / or death certificates.
A full description of the cohort profile is available in the following publication: Cohort Profile: West of Scotland 20-07 study: health in the community. International Journal of Epidemiology 2009;38:1215-23