We are creating a unified UKRI website that brings together the existing research council, Innovate UK and Research England websites.
If you would like to be involved in its development let us know.

Site search
Back to listing

The Whitehall II Study

About the cohort

Start date: 1985
Age at recruitment: 35-55
Sample size at recruitment: 10,308
Estimated current sample size: 7,735

The Whitehall II study was established in 1985 to investigate the importance of socioeconomic circumstances for health by following a cohort of 10,308 working men and women aged 35-55 at enrolment. Participants have taken part in eleven data collection phases, six of which have included a medical screening. The aim of the study is to understand the causes of age-related heterogeneity in health.

By combining the existing 28 years of data on social inequalities and chronic disease with new clinical measures of cognitive function, mental disorders and physical functioning, Whitehall II will be transformed into a world-class, interdisciplinary study of ageing.

In addition to providing insights into individual and social differences in the development of frailty, disability, dependence, and dementia, the study will enable the determination of optimal time windows and targets for interventions that maximize the potential for healthy-ageing and independent living.

Whitehall II is part of the Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), a multi-million pound public-private partnership to accelerate progress in dementias research 

Core funders

  • Medical Research Council
  • British Heart Foundation
  • ​National Institute on Aging (NIA)


Website: www.ucl.ac.uk/whitehallII

Principal Investigator: Professor Mika Kivimaki 


Whitehall II
Department of Epidemiology & Public Health
University College London 
1-19 Torrington Place 
London WC1E 6BT 

Email: whitehall2@public-health.ucl.ac.uk

Tel: 020 7679 5621

Page last updated: 1 Sep 2015


  • Gender: Male, Female
  • Sample size: 10,000-19,999
  • Age: 20 to 39, 40 to 59, 60 to 100
  • Anthropometric: Height, Weight, Waist circumference, Hip circumference, Blood pressure
  • Physical: Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Musculoskeletal, Reproductive
  • Psychological: Mental health, Cognitive function
  • Lifestyle: Smoking, Physical activity, Dietary habits, Alcohol
  • Socio-economic: Occupation, Finances, Family circumstances, Housing, Education, Ethnic group, Marital status, Social support
  • Biological samples: Blood, Urine, Saliva, Other