Project 028

Project Title:

Utilising and combining the Longitudinal Studies of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: developing a unified approach to investigating UK-wide regional differences in health, coupled with an exemplar analysis of the relationship between self reported morbidity and mortality.


Dr Dermot O'Reilly, Dr Michael Rosato, Prof. Paul Boyle, Prof. Emily Grundy and Harriot Young


Queen’s University, Belfast, Centre for Public Health



Project Summary:

There are now three Census-based record linkage studies covering the constituent parts of the UK: the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study (ONS LS) of England and Wales (established in the mid 1970s); the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS); and the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS) - the latter two launched in 2007. Their existence means that there is now potential to undertaking parallel and combined analyses using all three sources to examine health differentials over the whole of the United Kingdom (UK). The primary focus of this proposal is to encourage and facilitate such coverage by considering and overcoming the practical problems that could undermine cross-study analysis. We also plan a research project to provide an exemplar for how such integration can be achieved – and hopefully stimulate a research agenda for others to engage. It will involve addressing and documenting both difficulties encountered, proposed and implemented solutions and include production of a user guide and other relevant tools for users. It will also produce results of substantive scientific and policy interest. Additionally it will provide a means for the three relevant support teams (and associated Census office teams) to share best practice and develop further collaboration.

Publications to date:

Young, H. Grundy, E. O'Reilly, D. and Boyle, P. (2010) Self-rated health and mortality in the UK: results from the first comparative analysis of the England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland Longitudinal StudiesPopulation Trends Spring 2010.  Office for National Statistics.



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