Date of filling in this questionnaire or last update: 12/01/2022
Cohort name
  Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Study

  • United Kingdom

  Michaela Benzeval
  ISER, University of Essex


Name of committee
  University of Essex Ethics Committee
Or provide website


Data access policy (briefly describe)
  Access through the UK Data Archive:
Participation in pooled analyses

  • The cohort is potentially interested in participating in pooled analyses of (European) occupational cohort studies (note pooled analyses also includes remote decentralized analyses that would not require any transfer of primary data as well as meta-analyses).

Main aim of cohort, please briefly describe the main objectives of the cohort
  Understanding Society is the UK Household Longitudinal Study. The Study is based at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex. We follow our participants over a long period of time, giving us a long-term perspective on people’s lives. As a longitudinal study, Understanding Society helps us explore how life in the UK is changing and what stays the same over many years. We are a household panel study, interviewing everyone in a household to see how different generations experience life in the UK. The Study helps us find out about parents and children, siblings, new family formation and our wider family and community links. The sample size for the Study is large, allowing researchers to investigate the experiences of different sub-groups and ethnic minorities over time.
Study design (please select as many as appropriate)

  • Prospective cohort

Source population (please select as many as appropriate)

  • General population: National

Inclusion criteria
  Living in residential accommodation at the start of the study (2009-10)
Age range at entry (main cohort)

Minimum Maximum Mean
0 none

  Approximately 40,000 households
Type of data for outcome follow-up (please select as many as appropriate)

  • Active (contact with participants)

Active (contact with participants) (specify)

  • annual interviews

First follow-up period (provide year)
Last follow-up period (provide year)
  annual interviews
Number of follow-ups after baseline (provide number)
  up to 12 so far
Source of exposure data collected (please select as many as appropriate)

  • Questionnaire, Personal (Self-reporting or interview)
  • Questionnaire, Personal (Occupational/industry modules)

Occupational history/time frame
  Other (specify)
Specify: Other
  annual interviews, with lifetime job history early in the panel
Occupational coding performed
Occupation (specify coding system used)

  • SOC1990
  • SOC2000
  • SOC2010
  • Socio-Economic Group
  • NS-SEC
  • Registrat General

Industry (specify coding system used)

  • SIC2007

Types of exposure measurements

  • Biomarkers (see also section 5)

Baseline - type of outcome data collected (select more than one if applicable)

  • Biomarker (specify)
  • Clinical/functional evaluation, e.g. spirometry, ECGs (specify)

Specify: Clinical/functional evaluation, e.g. spirometry, ECGs
  Spirometry collected at Wave 2/3
Specify: Biomarker
  whole blood, dried blood spots at Wave 2/3
Other health related outcomes

  • Quality of life/wellbeing
  • Sleep
  • Work participation

Biological samples collected

  • Blood

Biological processing

  • DNA

Genetic and other lab analyses

  • Epigenomics
  • Genomics / GWAS

6. Other Information

  • Alcohol
  • Anthropometry
  • Demographics
  • Diet
  • Education
  • Environmental, air pollution
  • Environmental other (specify)
  • Medical history
  • Personality
  • Physical exercise
  • Residential history
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Smoking

Specify: Environmental other
  environmental attitudes, behaviours - data can be linked geographically to other environmental data sets
Possibility for linkage to data registries/data enrichment via data linkage

  • Other (specify)

Specify: Other
  Education, state benefits, HMRC
Please describe plans that are funded or most likely to be funded
  Currently planned up to Wave 15 (currently Waves 11 and 12 are in the field). Potential for new bio-marker collection at Wave 16, if funded.