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Hertfordshire Cohort Study

About the cohort

Professor Cyrus Cooper

Start date: 1931

Age at recruitment: 0 (59-72 when cohort was received sustained funding)

Sample size at recruitment: 3,225

Estimated current sample size: 1,700-1,800

The Hertfordshire Cohort Study comprises a nationally unique study of 3000 men and women born during the period 1931-1939 and still resident in the English county of Hertfordshire. Information available on these individuals includes birthweight (recorded by the attending midwife), weight at age one year (recorded by a health visitor), the method of infant feeding, and details of childhood illnesses up to age five years.  Follow-up of individuals began in 1990 and medical and social histories have been ascertained, as well as detailed anthropometry, blood pressure, glucose tolerance, fasting serum cholesterol and triglycerides, bone density and physical performance. DNA on all participants has been collected and is stored in the Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit.

The entire cohort is being followed up through primary care and hospital records for clinical outcomes including incident coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, chronic airflow obstruction and fracture. The cohort members are flagged with the NHS Central Register for notification of deaths.

HCS is part of CLOSER (Cohort & Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources) which aims to maximise the use, value and impact of the UK’s longitudinal studies.


MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit
University of Southampton
Southampton General Hospital
SO16 6YD

Tel: 023 8077 7624



Page last updated: 29 Apr 2015


  • Gender: Male, Female
  • Sample size: 0-4,999
  • Age: 60 to 100
  • Anthropometric: Height, Weight, Waist circumference, Hip circumference, Blood pressure
  • Physical: Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Musculoskeletal
  • Psychological: Mental health, Cognitive function
  • Lifestyle: Smoking, Physical activity, Dietary habits, Alcohol
  • Socio-economic: Occupation, Family circumstances, Housing, Education, Marital status, Social support
  • Biological samples: Blood, Urine, Other