About the NSHD

The MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD) is the oldest and longest running continually-studied British birth cohort study, having followed a sample of 5,362 men and women born in England, Scotland and Wales since their birth in one week in March, 1946. The NSHD has informed British health care, education and social policy since that time.

The NSHD has been funded by the Medical Research Council since 1962.

Today, with study members in their seventies, the NSHD offers a unique opportunity to explore the long-term biological and social processes of ageing and how ageing is affected by factors acting across the whole of life.

This site will provide you with all the information you need to explore these data collected over more than seven decades and, if you are a bona fide researcher, the information on how to submit a data access request to use these data in your research.

The MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL (LHA) is the home of the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD). The LHA was established in 2008 under the directorship of Professor Diana Kuh, with the overarching aim of realising the scientific potential of the NSHD as a world class, interdisciplinary and life course study of ageing. The LHA has recently taken over responsibilities for managing two other studies. The current director is Professor Nish Chaturvedi. You can learn more about the LHA on our website.

You can explore all the metadata on the NSHD on this site, including topic guides and questionnaire text. Full variable-level searching and dataset basket-building is available using the Skylark system (registration required). You can also find more information on submitting a data application request.

Here you can find more information on accessing our data and some background on the NSHD.
The NSHD