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Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (LBC1936)

About the cohort

Start date: 1947
Age at recruitment: 11 (70-72 when cohort received sustained funding)
Sample size at recruitment: 1,091
Estimated current sample size: 700

The participants of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 were recruited to the project because they had taken part in the Scottish Mental Survey 1947. This followed the Scottish Mental Survey of 1932 from which the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 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 LBC1936 began in 2004 and recruited 1091 of the 70,805 individuals who had taken part in the 1947 survey. The LBC1936 have been examined at mean ages of 70, 73, 76 and 79 years. The cohort has a wide range of variables: genome-wide genotyping, demographics, psycho-social and lifestyle factors, cognitive functions, medical history and examination, biomarkers (from blood and urine) and a detailed structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scan.

Core funders

  • Age UK
  • Medical Research Council


Website: https://www.ed.ac.uk/lothian-birth-cohorts

Principal Investigator: Professor Ian Deary


Department of Psychology
The University of Edinburgh,
7 George Square,

Page last updated: 13 Mar 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
  • Lifestyle: Smoking, Physical activity, Dietary habits, Alcohol
  • Socio-economic: Occupation, Family circumstances, Housing, Education, Ethnic group, Marital status, Social support
  • Biological samples: Blood, Urine, Other