Biomedical Survey (2002)


In 1999, the Medical Research Council awarded funding (Grant: G0000934) for the first biomedical study of NCDS cohort members in adulthood as part of its ‘Health of the Public’ initiative. The grant was held jointly by the Institute of Child Health, St George’s Hospital Medical School (now St George’s, University of London), the Centre for Longitudinal Studies and the National Centre for Social Research.

The survey was designed to obtain objective measures of ill-health and biomedical risk factors. The broad aims were to explore the impact of developmental, environmental and lifestyle factors on ill-health, and physiological and psychological function among adults in early middle age; to investigate the effect of such factors on geographical and socioeconomic health inequalities; and to make possible comparisons between these adults in early middle age and members of the MRC funded 1946 birth cohort at the same age. The research was also intended to address a wide range of specific hypotheses relating to anthropometry, cardiovascular, respiratory and allergic diseases, visual and hearing impairment, and mental ill-health.

The key biological markers of health obtained from the cohort members in their early 40s were designed to serve as outcomes for analyses of the environmental, psychosocial, biological and behavioural factors in different stages in life from birth onwards. They are also intended to supply baseline measures for future studies of the health of these adults from early middle age through to later life. An independent committee, chaired by Professor Alan Silman, was appointed at the outset of the project to oversee the conduct of the project.

The Wellcome Trust funded the creation of immortalised cell lines.

Blood samples were collected from 88% of those examined, and 97% of these gave consent to creation of immortalised cell lines, extraction and storage of DNA for medical research purposes. 8018 blood samples were received from subjects who gave consent to extraction of DNA, and 7980 of these also gave consent for creation of immortalised cell cultures. More details of the DNA collection are available from the Access Committee for CLS Cohorts (ACCC) website.

Data Availability

The NCDS biomedical data are available from the UK Data Service under Special Licence. Please use the UK Data Service links below to request these data.

A listing of the variables is available on our data dictionary.

If you have any enquiries on access to data linkages between the data collected during the Biomedical or other data collections and the genetic resource, please see the Access Committee for CLS Cohorts (ACCC) website.

If you have any more general enquiries on require advice on what data is available, please contact CLS in the first instance via our contact form.