Site search
Back to listing

Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 (LBC1921)

About the cohort

PI: Professor Ian Deary

Start date: 1999

Age at recruitment: 79   

Sample size at recruitment: 550

The participants of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 were recruited to the project because they had taken part in the Scottish Mental Survey 1932. This was followed the Scottish Mental Survey of 1947 from which the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 was established.

The surveys had, respectively, tested the intelligence of almost every child born in 1921 or 1936 and attending school in Scotland in the month of June in those years. Tracing, recruiting and re-testing people who had taken part in the Surveys offered a rare opportunity to examine the distribution and causes of cognitive ageing across most of the human life course. The studies were initially set up to study determinants of non-pathological cognitive ageing; i.e. the ageing of cognitive functions largely in the normal range, and not principally dementia or other pathological cognitive disorders.

The LBC1921 began in 1999 and recruited 550 of the 87,498 individuals who had taken part in the 1932 survey. The LBC1921 have been examined at mean ages of 79, 83, 87, 90 and 92 years.



Chief Scientist Office

Royal Society


Department of Psychology

The University of Edinburgh,

7 George Square,






Page last updated: 29 Apr 2015


  • Gender: Male, Female
  • Sample size: 0-4,999
  • Age: 60 to 100
  • Anthropometric: Height, Weight, Blood pressure
  • Physical: Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Musculoskeletal, Hearing and vision
  • Psychological: Mental health, Cognitive function
  • Lifestyle: Smoking, Physical activity, Alcohol
  • Socio-economic: Occupation, Family circumstances, Housing, Education, Ethnic group, Marital status, Social support
  • Biological samples: Blood