The Aberdeen Children of the 1950s Study
This study is based on a survey carried out in December 1962 of all Aberdeen primary school children born between 1950 and 1956. The children took standardised reading tests and provided information about their parents' occupation and the number of siblings they had. Information on each child was obtained from school records and included standard school tests at age 7, 9 and 11 years, and from school health records on height and weight. Finally, information about maternal characteristics (including height and age), course of pregnancy and birth details including birth weight and gestational age, was taken from the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank.
In the late 1990s the value of this information was realised and, with funds from the MRC and the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) at the Scottish Government Health Directorates, the research team attempted to trace the original participants. The whereabouts of 98.5% of 12,150 of those who took part were traced, with 81% still living in Scotland and 73% still in Grampian. A postal questionnaire was sent to over 11,000 of those participants who could still be contacted, with a response rate of 63%. Since then the research team has also carried out anonymised linkages to routinely collected medical records from the Scottish Morbidity Records System. A steering group, chaired by Professor Paul Boyle, supervises the conduct of the study and reviews applications for access to the data. Heather Clark is the project manager in Aberdeen. The MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit contributes to the maintenance of the study. For further information and list of publications see the Children of the 1950s website.
In 2010 an exciting opportunity to develop the study further, by bringing participants into a clinic setting for detailed physical assessments, has arisen from a collaboration with the Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study
von Stumm S, Macintyre S, Batty GD, Clark H, Deary IJ. Intelligence, social class of origin, childhood behavior disturbance and education as predictors of status attainment in midlife in men: the Aberdeen Children of the 1950s study. Intelligence 2010;38:202-211
Lawlor DA, Andersen A M, Batty GD. Birth cohort studies: past, present and future. International Journal of Epidemiology 2009;38:897-902pubmed
Leon DA, Lawlor DA, Clark H, Batty GD, Macintyre S. The association of childhood intelligence with mortality risk from adolescence to middle age: findings from the Aberdeen Children of the 1950s cohort study. Intelligence 2009;37:520-8
Lawlor DA, Batty GD, Clark H, Macintyre S, Leon DA. Association of childhood intelligence with risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: findings from the Aberdeen Children of the 1950s cohort study. European Journal of Epidemiology 2008;23:695-706pubmed open access
Batty GD, Deary IJ, Macintyre S. Childhood IQ in relation to risk factors for premature mortality in middle-aged persons: the Aberdeen Children of the 1950s study. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2007;61:241-247pubmed open access
Batty GD, Deary IJ, Macintyre S. Childhood IQ and life course socioeconomic position in relation to alcohol induced hangovers in adulthood: the Aberdeen Children of the 1950s study. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2006;60:872-874pubmed open access
Dundas R, Leyland AH, Macintyre S, Leon DA. Does the primary school attended influence self-reported health or its risk factors in later life? Aberdeen Children of the 1950s Study. International Journal of Epidemiology 2006;35:458-465pubmed open access
Lawlor DA, Ronalds G, Macintyre S, Clark H, Leon DA. Family socioeconomic position at birth and future cardiovascular disease risk: findings from the Aberdeen Children of the 1950s cohort study. American Journal of Public Health 2006;96:1271-1277pubmed open access
Leon D, Lawlor D, Clark H, Macintyre S. Cohort profile: the Aberdeen Children of the 1950s study. International Journal of Epidemiology 2006;35:549-552pubmed open access
Lawlor DA, Batty GD, Morton S M B, Clark H, Macintyre S, Leon DA. Childhood socioeconomic position, educational attainment and adult cardiovascular risk factors: the Aberdeen children of the 1950s cohort study. American Journal of Public Health 2005;95:1245-1251pubmed open access
Lawlor DA, Batty GD, Morton S M B, Deary IJ, Macintyre S, Ronalds G, Leon DA. Early life predictors of childhood intelligence: evidence from the Aberdeen Children of the 1950s cohort study. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 2005;59:656-663pubmed open access
Batty GD, Morton SMB, Campbell D, Clarke H, Smith DG, Hall M, Macintyre S. The Aberdeen Children of the 1950s cohort study: background, methods and follow-up information on a new resource for the study of life course and intergenerational influences on health. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2004;18:221-239pubmed open access