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National Survey of Health and Development


The MRC National Survey of Health and Development 1946 (NSHD) has collected information from birth to the current day on the health and life circumstances of five and a half thousand men and women born during one week in March 1946. As the study and its study members approach 70 years, previous special milestones are remembered with a few trips down memory lane.

Every year since their 16th birthday, study members have received a birthday card from the research team. As expected, these have changed over time but we hope they will bring back many happy memories.

To celebrate their 21st birthday, (1967) Penny Lane by the Beatles was requested and played for them on the radio, a gesture repeated for their 65th. We also had a very special 65th birthday message from Baroness Joan Bakewell DBE. A short documentary celebrating the Douglas Children and NSHD at 65 has also been made.

As they were growing up, study members were asked to complete a variety of cognitive tests. Here are some of the questions asked when they were 15 years old.

An illustrated brochure about the NSHD in its 65th year was published. Study members will have received a copy with that year's birthday card. In the brochure we tried to answer as many of the questions raised by study members as possible. We also included some of the memories of being in the study that were sent to the research team.  If you are a study member and have not received your copy, please contact the LHA office.

The 65th birthday attracted a great deal of interest from the media. Links to freely available articles, editorials and podcasts can be found here.