Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD)
National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD)

Topic
Health and Performance
Education and Learning
Wellbeing
Relevance for this Topic
Country United Kingdom
URL
More Topics

Governance

Contact information

MRC (Medical Research Council) Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing (LHA)
MRC (Medical Research Council) Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing (LHA)
33 Bedford Place
WC1B 5JU London
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)207 670 5700
Fax: +44 (0)207 580 1501
Email: swiftinfo(at)nshd.mrc.ac.uk
Url: http://www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/default.aspx

Timeliness, transparency

Timetables vary according to the data collected in each wave

Type of data


Survey

Type of Study

Cohort study

Data gathering method

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)


A variety of different data have been collected over the 66 years of the study, including interview data, clinical measurements and physical measurements. For more information, see: http://www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/nshd/about_the_nshd/summary_of_data_collected.aspx

Type of data


Survey

Type of Study

Cohort study

Data gathering method

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)


A variety of different data have been collected over the 66 years of the study, including interview data, clinical measurements and physical measurements. For more information, see: http://www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/nshd/about_the_nshd/summary_of_data_collected.aspx

Type of data


Survey

Type of Study

Cohort study

Data gathering method

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)


A variety of different data have been collected over the 66 years of the study, including interview data, clinical measurements and physical measurements. For more information, see: http://www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/nshd/about_the_nshd/summary_of_data_collected.aspx


Access to data


The LHA (MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing) is committed to the core principles of the MRC (Medical Research Council) with regard to data sharing. The LHA actively encourages the sharing of NSHD data with bona fide scientists for high quality research projects, to ensure that the scientific potential of the NSHD is maximised. Data sharing must be within the bounds of consent given previously by study members and meet rigorous MRC data security standards. All proposals to use NSHD data must support and adhere to the core principles of data sharing with the MRC, namely: • Ethical: The privacy of individuals and the dignity of communities must be protected, while simultaneously respecting the imperative to improve public health through the most productive use of data. • Equitable: All proposals should recognise and balance the needs of researchers who generate and use data, other analysts who may want to reuse those data, and communities and funders who expect health benefits to arise from research. • Efficient: Approaches should be proportionate and build on existing practice and reduce unnecessary duplication and competition. The MRC National Survey of Health and development (NSHD) has a data archive with over 18,000 variables collected over the lifetime of the study. The most recent clinic data collection and use of the NSHD DNA Repository will increase the number of variables by several thousand. The archive preserves data and meta-data (descriptions of the data) in electronic, paper, fiche, and, increasingly, image form, and includes biological samples. Within available resources and constraints, the study team have recently converted the 60 year old ‘in house’ paper-based documentation into two websites: the meta-data repository and SWIFT-NSHD (The Secure Web Interface for the NSHD). The meta-data repository holds electronic versions of all the NSHD questionnaires and topic level guides to the information collected. The repository is accessible to bone fide researchers who may wish to use the NSHD for research purposes. Potential and existing users can use the repository to explore the NSHD meta-data (descriptions of the data) to enable them to formulate proposals for using variables from the NSHD. SWIFT-NSHD is a variable retrieval tool which allows registered users to create their own bespoke NSHD data sets. This work has been partly funded by the MRC Data Preservation and Sharing Initiative which aims to improve accessibility to anonymised scientific data across the research community. Researchers wishing to access the meta-data repository should contact swiftinfo@nshd.mrc.ac.uk for further information.

Conditions of access


Researchers wishing to undertake a research project using NSHD data should contact swiftinfo@nshd.mrc.ac.uk in the first instance briefly outlining their research interests and requesting an application form and the guidance notes for scientists. Data sharing is dependent on the project being approved by the NSHD data sharing committee, a data sharing agreement being in place between the MRC and the academic institution that employs the researcher, and LHA resources being available to meet the requests for data sharing. Around 2,900 study members have given consent for DNA to be extracted from blood and/or buccal samples and LHA was given ethical approval in 2007 to use these samples for genetic studies of lifelong health and ageing. Genetic studies help us to elucidate biological mechanisms of ageing and understand why people with similar life experiences age differently. The NSHD DNA Repository supports high calibre studies of human health and disease that make the best use of the genetic resource in conjunction with the existing life course data. Dr. Andrew Wong coordinates the genetic research of the NSHD and is responsible for the safe storage and efficient use of the samples, which are managed by Source BioScience. Researchers wishing to use the NSHD DNA samples should apply to Dr. Andrew Wong briefly outlining their project and requesting a data application form (see LHA website for details).


This depends upon the user and conditions of use.


Anonymised microdata


SWIFT-NSHD (The Secure Web Interface for the NSHD) is a variable retrieval tool which allows registered users to create their own bespoke NSHD datasets.


English

Access to data


The LHA (MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing) is committed to the core principles of the MRC (Medical Research Council) with regard to data sharing. The LHA actively encourages the sharing of NSHD data with bona fide scientists for high quality research projects, to ensure that the scientific potential of the NSHD is maximised. Data sharing must be within the bounds of consent given previously by study members and meet rigorous MRC data security standards. All proposals to use NSHD data must support and adhere to the core principles of data sharing with the MRC, namely: • Ethical: The privacy of individuals and the dignity of communities must be protected, while simultaneously respecting the imperative to improve public health through the most productive use of data. • Equitable: All proposals should recognise and balance the needs of researchers who generate and use data, other analysts who may want to reuse those data, and communities and funders who expect health benefits to arise from research. • Efficient: Approaches should be proportionate and build on existing practice and reduce unnecessary duplication and competition. The MRC National Survey of Health and development (NSHD) has a data archive with over 18,000 variables collected over the lifetime of the study. The most recent clinic data collection and use of the NSHD DNA Repository will increase the number of variables by several thousand. The archive preserves data and meta-data (descriptions of the data) in electronic, paper, fiche, and, increasingly, image form, and includes biological samples. Within available resources and constraints, the study team have recently converted the 60 year old ‘in house’ paper-based documentation into two websites: the meta-data repository and SWIFT-NSHD (The Secure Web Interface for the NSHD). The meta-data repository holds electronic versions of all the NSHD questionnaires and topic level guides to the information collected. The repository is accessible to bone fide researchers who may wish to use the NSHD for research purposes. Potential and existing users can use the repository to explore the NSHD meta-data (descriptions of the data) to enable them to formulate proposals for using variables from the NSHD. SWIFT-NSHD is a variable retrieval tool which allows registered users to create their own bespoke NSHD data sets. This work has been partly funded by the MRC Data Preservation and Sharing Initiative which aims to improve accessibility to anonymised scientific data across the research community. Researchers wishing to access the meta-data repository should contact swiftinfo@nshd.mrc.ac.uk for further information.

Conditions of access


Researchers wishing to undertake a research project using NSHD data should contact swiftinfo@nshd.mrc.ac.uk in the first instance briefly outlining their research interests and requesting an application form and the guidance notes for scientists. Data sharing is dependent on the project being approved by the NSHD data sharing committee, a data sharing agreement being in place between the MRC and the academic institution that employs the researcher, and LHA resources being available to meet the requests for data sharing. Around 2,900 study members have given consent for DNA to be extracted from blood and/or buccal samples and LHA was given ethical approval in 2007 to use these samples for genetic studies of lifelong health and ageing. Genetic studies help us to elucidate biological mechanisms of ageing and understand why people with similar life experiences age differently. The NSHD DNA Repository supports high calibre studies of human health and disease that make the best use of the genetic resource in conjunction with the existing life course data. Dr. Andrew Wong coordinates the genetic research of the NSHD and is responsible for the safe storage and efficient use of the samples, which are managed by Source BioScience. Researchers wishing to use the NSHD DNA samples should apply to Dr. Andrew Wong briefly outlining their project and requesting a data application form (see LHA website for details).


This depends upon the user and conditions of use.


Anonymised microdata


SWIFT-NSHD (The Secure Web Interface for the NSHD) is a variable retrieval tool which allows registered users to create their own bespoke NSHD datasets.


English

Access to data


The LHA (MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing) is committed to the core principles of the MRC (Medical Research Council) with regard to data sharing. The LHA actively encourages the sharing of NSHD data with bona fide scientists for high quality research projects, to ensure that the scientific potential of the NSHD is maximised. Data sharing must be within the bounds of consent given previously by study members and meet rigorous MRC data security standards. All proposals to use NSHD data must support and adhere to the core principles of data sharing with the MRC, namely: • Ethical: The privacy of individuals and the dignity of communities must be protected, while simultaneously respecting the imperative to improve public health through the most productive use of data. • Equitable: All proposals should recognise and balance the needs of researchers who generate and use data, other analysts who may want to reuse those data, and communities and funders who expect health benefits to arise from research. • Efficient: Approaches should be proportionate and build on existing practice and reduce unnecessary duplication and competition. The MRC National Survey of Health and development (NSHD) has a data archive with over 18,000 variables collected over the lifetime of the study. The most recent clinic data collection and use of the NSHD DNA Repository will increase the number of variables by several thousand. The archive preserves data and meta-data (descriptions of the data) in electronic, paper, fiche, and, increasingly, image form, and includes biological samples. Within available resources and constraints, the study team have recently converted the 60 year old ‘in house’ paper-based documentation into two websites: the meta-data repository and SWIFT-NSHD (The Secure Web Interface for the NSHD). The meta-data repository holds electronic versions of all the NSHD questionnaires and topic level guides to the information collected. The repository is accessible to bone fide researchers who may wish to use the NSHD for research purposes. Potential and existing users can use the repository to explore the NSHD meta-data (descriptions of the data) to enable them to formulate proposals for using variables from the NSHD. SWIFT-NSHD is a variable retrieval tool which allows registered users to create their own bespoke NSHD data sets. This work has been partly funded by the MRC Data Preservation and Sharing Initiative which aims to improve accessibility to anonymised scientific data across the research community. Researchers wishing to access the meta-data repository should contact swiftinfo@nshd.mrc.ac.uk for further information.

Conditions of access


Researchers wishing to undertake a research project using NSHD data should contact swiftinfo@nshd.mrc.ac.uk in the first instance briefly outlining their research interests and requesting an application form and the guidance notes for scientists. Data sharing is dependent on the project being approved by the NSHD data sharing committee, a data sharing agreement being in place between the MRC and the academic institution that employs the researcher, and LHA resources being available to meet the requests for data sharing. Around 2,900 study members have given consent for DNA to be extracted from blood and/or buccal samples and LHA was given ethical approval in 2007 to use these samples for genetic studies of lifelong health and ageing. Genetic studies help us to elucidate biological mechanisms of ageing and understand why people with similar life experiences age differently. The NSHD DNA Repository supports high calibre studies of human health and disease that make the best use of the genetic resource in conjunction with the existing life course data. Dr. Andrew Wong coordinates the genetic research of the NSHD and is responsible for the safe storage and efficient use of the samples, which are managed by Source BioScience. Researchers wishing to use the NSHD DNA samples should apply to Dr. Andrew Wong briefly outlining their project and requesting a data application form (see LHA website for details).


This depends upon the user and conditions of use.


Anonymised microdata


SWIFT-NSHD (The Secure Web Interface for the NSHD) is a variable retrieval tool which allows registered users to create their own bespoke NSHD datasets.


English


Coverage


Detailed information on the data collection, including the aims of the study at each wave, is available on the LHA website: www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/.../...y_of_data_collected.aspx
Response has been high throughout the study (see table below). Annual contact is made with cohort members. Further information about more recent waves is not readily available. Year Age Respondent Contact % Target 1946-50 0-4 Mother 4695 95 1951-61 5-15 Mother & Study Member 4307 89 1962-81 16-35 Study Member 3538 78 1982 36 Study Member 3322 86 1989 43 Study Member 3262 87 1993-2000 47-54 Women 1572 84-90 1999 53 Study Member 3035 83


1946


The data includes a variety of demographic variables, including age and sex. The sample is partially stratified.


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 22 times.


Great Britain


The age of birth cohort study members varies over time. At the last wave of data collection, cohort members were 60-65 years old.


Representative of the 1946 birth cohort who were born in Great Britain


There have been 22 waves of data collected on the whole cohort between 1946 and 2010, as well as smaller collections from various sub groups. Data on study members was collected via contacts with study members themselves, as well as through questions answered by their parents, school teachers, school doctors and nurses, and Youth Employment Officers. Between the ages of 0 and 15, information was collected from the parent, usually the mother. Between the ages of 5 and 15, some information was collected from the study member themselves, usually in the form of cognitive tests. From the age of 16, study members were interviewed personally. Information has also been collected from other administrative sources. These include: • Reports of hospital admissions, • Information on exposure to outside atmospheric pollution from birth to age 11, • Details of educational qualifications, • Notification of deaths, • Cancer diagnoses, and • Copies of recent mammograms for women study members (1999). Clinic-based methods were used for the first time to collect new data from study members in the most recent data collection which started in 2006.


A very long list of publications using this source is available on the LHS website: www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/findings/publications.aspx
As well as a list of presentations:www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/findings/presentions.aspx

Coverage


Detailed information on the data collection, including the aims of the study at each wave, is available on the LHA website: www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/.../...y_of_data_collected.aspx
Response has been high throughout the study (see table below). Annual contact is made with cohort members. Further information about more recent waves is not readily available. Year Age Respondent Contact % Target 1946-50 0-4 Mother 4695 95 1951-61 5-15 Mother & Study Member 4307 89 1962-81 16-35 Study Member 3538 78 1982 36 Study Member 3322 86 1989 43 Study Member 3262 87 1993-2000 47-54 Women 1572 84-90 1999 53 Study Member 3035 83


1946


The data includes a variety of demographic variables, including age and sex. The sample is partially stratified.


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 22 times.


Great Britain


The age of birth cohort study members varies over time. At the last wave of data collection, cohort members were 60-65 years old.


Representative of the 1946 birth cohort who were born in Great Britain


There have been 22 waves of data collected on the whole cohort between 1946 and 2010, as well as smaller collections from various sub groups. Data on study members was collected via contacts with study members themselves, as well as through questions answered by their parents, school teachers, school doctors and nurses, and Youth Employment Officers. Between the ages of 0 and 15, information was collected from the parent, usually the mother. Between the ages of 5 and 15, some information was collected from the study member themselves, usually in the form of cognitive tests. From the age of 16, study members were interviewed personally. Information has also been collected from other administrative sources. These include: • Reports of hospital admissions, • Information on exposure to outside atmospheric pollution from birth to age 11, • Details of educational qualifications, • Notification of deaths, • Cancer diagnoses, and • Copies of recent mammograms for women study members (1999). Clinic-based methods were used for the first time to collect new data from study members in the most recent data collection which started in 2006.


A very long list of publications using this source is available on the LHS website: www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/findings/publications.aspx
As well as a list of presentations: www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/findings/presentions.aspx

Coverage


Detailed information on the data collection, including the aims of the study at each wave, is available on the LHA website: www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/.../...y_of_data_collected.aspx
Response has been high throughout the study (see table below). Annual contact is made with cohort members. Further information about more recent waves is not readily available. Year Age Respondent Contact % Target 1946-50 0-4 Mother 4695 95 1951-61 5-15 Mother & Study Member 4307 89 1962-81 16-35 Study Member 3538 78 1982 36 Study Member 3322 86 1989 43 Study Member 3262 87 1993-2000 47-54 Women 1572 84-90 1999 53 Study Member 3035 83


1946


The data includes a variety of demographic variables, including age and sex. The sample is partially stratified.


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 22 times.


Great Britain


The age of birth cohort study members varies over time. At the last wave of data collection, cohort members were 60-65 years old.


Representative of the 1946 birth cohort who were born in Great Britain


There have been 22 waves of data collected on the whole cohort between 1946 and 2010, as well as smaller collections from various sub groups. Data on study members was collected via contacts with study members themselves, as well as through questions answered by their parents, school teachers, school doctors and nurses, and Youth Employment Officers. Between the ages of 0 and 15, information was collected from the parent, usually the mother. Between the ages of 5 and 15, some information was collected from the study member themselves, usually in the form of cognitive tests. From the age of 16, study members were interviewed personally. Information has also been collected from other administrative sources. These include: • Reports of hospital admissions, • Information on exposure to outside atmospheric pollution from birth to age 11, • Details of educational qualifications, • Notification of deaths, • Cancer diagnoses, and • Copies of recent mammograms for women study members (1999). Clinic-based methods were used for the first time to collect new data from study members in the most recent data collection which started in 2006.


A very long list of publications using this source is available on the LHS website: www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/findings/publications.aspx
As well as a list of presentations: www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/findings/presentions.aspx


Linkage


There is an ongoing cross-governmental programme of work in the UK which aims to develop and improve standardised inputs and outputs for use in official statistics. This is known as harmonisation, and is led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While this work primarily affects government-run surveys, the results have an impact on most national UK data sources. Furthermore, harmonisation has important benefits for all researchers using these surveys, and not just government statisticians. For more information, see: www.ons.gov.uk/.../index.html


Data are anonymised

Linkage


There is an ongoing cross-governmental programme of work in the UK which aims to develop and improve standardised inputs and outputs for use in official statistics. This is known as harmonisation, and is led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While this work primarily affects government-run surveys, the results have an impact on most national UK data sources. Furthermore, harmonisation has important benefits for all researchers using these surveys, and not just government statisticians. For more information, see: www.ons.gov.uk/.../index.html


Data are anonymised

Linkage


There is an ongoing cross-governmental programme of work in the UK which aims to develop and improve standardised inputs and outputs for use in official statistics. This is known as harmonisation, and is led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While this work primarily affects government-run surveys, the results have an impact on most national UK data sources. Furthermore, harmonisation has important benefits for all researchers using these surveys, and not just government statisticians. For more information, see: www.ons.gov.uk/.../index.html


Data are anonymised


Data quality


In addition to unit non-response and attrition, the data include item non-response and may be subject to other errors that are typical of cohort studies. There are incomplete data for some individuals in some waves. For more information on data quality, contact the LHA.


There are no major breaks for this data source, although different data has been gathered at different time-points over the life of the birth cohort.


In general, the consistency of this data source is good. For more information on data quality, contact the LHA.

Data quality


In addition to unit non-response and attrition, the data include item non-response and may be subject to other errors that are typical of cohort studies. There are incomplete data for some individuals in some waves. For more information on data quality, contact the LHA.


There are no major breaks for this data source, although different data has been gathered at different time-points over the life of the birth cohort.


In general, the consistency of this data source is good. For more information on data quality, contact the LHA.

Data quality


In addition to unit non-response and attrition, the data include item non-response and may be subject to other errors that are typical of cohort studies. There are incomplete data for some individuals in some waves. For more information on data quality, contact the LHA.


There are no major breaks for this data source, although different data has been gathered at different time-points over the life of the birth cohort.


In general, the consistency of this data source is good. For more information on data quality, contact the LHA.


Applicability


The mission of the LHA is to realise the scientific potential of the NSHD as a world class, interdisciplinary life course study by: • Scientific discovery of life course influences on normal and healthy ageing • Transfer of knowledge to policymakers, health practitioners, and other research users • Promotion of healthy ageing Clinic-based methods were used for the first time to collect new data from study members in the most recent data collection which started in 2006, when study members were 60 years old, and finished in 2011 as they reached their 65th birthday. These data include new measures of the heart, blood vessels, muscles and bones, blood, saliva and urine samples for analysis, and repeat measures of health, function and life circumstances. A description of the data collected at the most recent wave can be found in Cohort Profile: Updating the cohort profile for the MRC National Survey of Health and Development: a new clinic-based data collection for ageing research (International Journal of Epidemiology) This article can be downloaded for free from ije.oxfordjournals.org/.../e1.full
The new NSHD data collected at 60-64 years will enable scientists to investigate the impact of lifetime risk factors on two key aspects of ageing. The first is physical and cognitive capability, the capacity to undertake the physical and mental tasks of daily living. The second is the ageing of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal body systems, which threaten capability and is responsible for a major proportion of chronic disease in the UK. We hypothesise that changes in these systems are related in ways that have important implications for daily living. The existence of life course data from birth to age 60 makes the NSHD well suited to test current hypotheses that early as well as midlife risks impact on these aspects of ageing, and that the effects of earlier risk are dependent on midlife risk.

Applicability


The mission of the LHA is to realise the scientific potential of the NSHD as a world class, interdisciplinary life course study by: • Scientific discovery of life course influences on normal and healthy ageing • Transfer of knowledge to policymakers, health practitioners, and other research users • Promotion of healthy ageing Clinic-based methods were used for the first time to collect new data from study members in the most recent data collection which started in 2006, when study members were 60 years old, and finished in 2011 as they reached their 65th birthday. These data include new measures of the heart, blood vessels, muscles and bones, blood, saliva and urine samples for analysis, and repeat measures of health, function and life circumstances. A description of the data collected at the most recent wave can be found in Cohort Profile: Updating the cohort profile for the MRC National Survey of Health and Development: a new clinic-based data collection for ageing research (International Journal of Epidemiology) This article can be downloaded for free from ije.oxfordjournals.org/.../e1.full
The new NSHD data collected at 60-64 years will enable scientists to investigate the impact of lifetime risk factors on two key aspects of ageing. The first is physical and cognitive capability, the capacity to undertake the physical and mental tasks of daily living. The second is the ageing of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal body systems, which threaten capability and is responsible for a major proportion of chronic disease in the UK. We hypothesise that changes in these systems are related in ways that have important implications for daily living. The existence of life course data from birth to age 60 makes the NSHD well suited to test current hypotheses that early as well as midlife risks impact on these aspects of ageing, and that the effects of earlier risk are dependent on midlife risk.

Applicability


The mission of the LHA is to realise the scientific potential of the NSHD as a world class, interdisciplinary life course study by: • Scientific discovery of life course influences on normal and healthy ageing • Transfer of knowledge to policymakers, health practitioners, and other research users • Promotion of healthy ageing Clinic-based methods were used for the first time to collect new data from study members in the most recent data collection which started in 2006, when study members were 60 years old, and finished in 2011 as they reached their 65th birthday. These data include new measures of the heart, blood vessels, muscles and bones, blood, saliva and urine samples for analysis, and repeat measures of health, function and life circumstances. A description of the data collected at the most recent wave can be found in Cohort Profile: Updating the cohort profile for the MRC National Survey of Health and Development: a new clinic-based data collection for ageing research (International Journal of Epidemiology) This article can be downloaded for free from ije.oxfordjournals.org/.../e1.full
The new NSHD data collected at 60-64 years will enable scientists to investigate the impact of lifetime risk factors on two key aspects of ageing. The first is physical and cognitive capability, the capacity to undertake the physical and mental tasks of daily living. The second is the ageing of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal body systems, which threaten capability and is responsible for a major proportion of chronic disease in the UK. We hypothesise that changes in these systems are related in ways that have important implications for daily living. The existence of life course data from birth to age 60 makes the NSHD well suited to test current hypotheses that early as well as midlife risks impact on these aspects of ageing, and that the effects of earlier risk are dependent on midlife risk.


  • The information about this dataset was compiled by the author:
  • Mike Murphy
  • (see Partners)