|Home | About | Journals | Submit | Contact Us | Français|
The Hertfordshire Cohort Study (HCS) comprises a nationally unique study of 3225 men and women born during the period 1931–39 in the English county of Hertfordshire and still resident there in the late 1990s.
The study has previously been described in detail in an IJE Cohort Profile.1 In brief, from 1911 to 1948, health visitors recorded information on birthweight and weight at 1 year on infants born in Hertfordshire. In 1998, those born between 1931 and 1939 were traced through the National Health Service Central Register and a total of 7106 men and women were identified as alive and still resident in the county. Permission to contact these men and women was obtained from their general practitioners. Between 1999 and 2004, they were invited to participate in studies examining the interactions between early life, diet, adult lifestyle and genetic factors as determinants of adult disease. A total of 3225 men and women, aged 59–73 years, were interviewed at home by a trained research nurse who obtained information on the participants' medical and social histories. Subsequently, 2997 men and women attended a clinic for further investigations. Since then, cohort-wide postal follow-up questionnaires and face to face detailed clinical studies of subgroups of the cohort have been conducted.
This photoessay describes the history of the HCS across the past 100 years, from instigation of the system that provided us with the historical records that made the study possible to the modern-day high-tech measurement systems that enable us to characterize in detail the health-related outcomes of our cohort members.
Medical Research Council; the University of Southampton; Arthritis Research UK; the British Heart Foundation; Wellcome Trust; National Institute for Health Research; the Porticus Foundation.
We thank the men and women who participated in the Hertfordshire studies, the Hertfordshire general practitioners and the nurses and doctors who conducted the home interviews and clinics. We also wish to thank the Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies centre for providing us with some of the historical images featured.