Latest Data Collection
A new clinic -based model of data collection
was successfully pioneered by a feasibility study at the Manchester
Wellcome Trust (WT) Clinical Research Facility (CRF) in
2006–2007. NSHD study members responded positively to an invitation
to visit the Facility for heart and bone scans and other health
assessments and interviews lasting half a day.
On the basis of this feasibility study, LHA
secured MRC funding for the main clinic study and in 2008-2009
opened up five new clinics in:
- Edinburgh in the WTCRF at the Western General
- Birmingham in the WTCRF at the Queen
- Cardiff in the CRF at the University
Hospital of Wales
- London in the WTCRF at University College
- London in the CRF at St Thomas' Hospital
The majority (97 per cent) of study members
were very satisfied (76 per cent) or satisfied (21 per cent) with
their visit to the WTCRF, many making positive comments about the
staff and the comprehensive screening, or how special the clinic
experience made them feel. Over 40 per cent specifically mentioned
how valuable they found the heart and bone scans and the feedback
that was sent to them or their GP.
The data collection teams at the Clinical
Research Facilities and at LHA did a tremendous job in getting the
clinics up and running. This is a complex data collection involving
interactions between many different staff, daily problem solving
and technical challenges. Everyone is committed to providing the
best possible experience for the study members who have so kindly
given their time to this study.
Exploring links between capability and ageing
The NSHD data collected at 60-64 years is
enabling scientists to investigate the impact of lifetime risk
factors on two key aspects of ageing.
The first is physical and cognitive capability, the capacity to undertake
the physical and mental tasks of daily living.
The second is the ageing of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal body systems, which threaten
capability and is responsible for a major proportion of chronic
disease in the UK. We hypothesise that changes in these systems are
related in ways that have important implications for daily
The existence of life course data from birth
makes the NSHD well suited to test current hypotheses that early as
well as midlife risks impact on these aspects of ageing, and that
the effects of earlier risk are dependent on midlife risk.
Working in collaboration on the data
A large number of scientists are investing
time and effort in the clinic data collection.
LHA scientists developed the protocols to
collect repeat measures of physical capability (grip strength,
chair rises, standing balance, gait speed), cognitive capability
(memory, speed and concentration) and information on life quality
Other scientists collaborated with LHA to:
- Provide specialist expertise for new clinic
- Develop and manage protocols for new measures
and deliver specialist databases
- Advise and support the LHA fieldwork
- Undertake parts of LHA scientific
- Facilitate the use of the new clinic
Key collaborators include scientists at MRC
Human Nutrition Research (dietary information and blood and urine
samples), Manchester University (bone and body composition scans)
and University College London, Glasgow University and Göteborg
University (cardiovascular function). Key collaborators are
members of the Cardiac and Vascular
Ageing, and Bone and Muscle Ageing
Project Management Groups.
To maximise the scientific potential of other
new clinic data, new collaborations are
being set up.