National Survey of Health & Development
The MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing established in 2008 is the new home of the National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD).
The National Survey of Health & Development is a Medical Research Council (MRC) longitudinal survey of people born in Britain in March 1946. It is "the granddaddy of all cohort studies" and was set up by J. W. B. Douglas less than a year after the end of the second world war. It began with interviews of more than 13 000 mothers who had given birth in the United Kingdom during one week of March 1946. Originally designed to explore the impact of a National Health Service on health and to explore differences in child development by factors like social class, health and education, it has continued and has itself developed into a study of ageing. The regularly updated information about this cohort also contrasts with data from other longitudinal studies in Britain and elsewhere.
The mission of the Unit is to realise the scientific potential of the NSHD as a world class, interdisciplinary life course study by:
- Scientific discovery of life course influences on normal and healthy ageing
- Transfer of knowledge to policymakers, health practitioners, and other research users
- Promotion of healthy ageing
The NSHD was formerly based at the London School of Economics (under the direction of Dr. James Douglas[disambiguation needed] and at the University of Bristol), and then the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London (under the direction of Professor Michael Wadsworth). The survey now operates under the recently established MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing based in Bloomsbury, London, England, directed by Professor Diana Kuh.
- 1946–1981: Dr James Douglas
- 1982–2006: Professor Michael Wadsworth
- 2007–Present: Professor Diana Kuh