Accessing HALCyon data

Meta Data generated by the HALCyon programme

One of the main aims of HALCyon was to perform comparable analyses across 9 British cohort studies which tested the inter-relationships between: physical and cognitive capability; social and psychological wellbeing and; underlying biological markers of ageing.  Another main aim was to test the associations of factors across life with each of these three sets of measures.  In the majority of cases, this involved harmonising secondary data from the 9 participating studies which had been provided to the HALCyon study team by cohort PIs.  For details of how to access the most up to date versions of these secondary data please contact the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL, the relevant cohort leads or where available download these data from UK Data Service ReShare (for ELSA and 1958 birth cohort).

The following documentation is freely available via UK Data Service ReShare  or the HALCyon data documentation page

(1) lists of the comparable variables available in each cohort for topics of relevance to HALCyon;

(2) Stata syntax which was used to clean and recode data for use in analyses that were comparable across cohorts. 


New data generated by the HALCyon programme

The NDA grant for HALCyon also included funds to

- collect comparable data on wellbeing in: Hertfordshire Cohort Study (HCS); Caerphilly Prospective Study (CaPS); Aberdeen Birth Cohort 1936 (ABC1936)
See for example: Cooper R et al. AGE 2014;36:445-456

- measure telomere length using existing blood samples in: Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 (LBC1921); CaPS; Hertfordshire Ageing study (HAS); MRC National Survey of Health and Development
See for example: Gardner M et al. PLoS One 2013;8(7):e69526

- perform cortisol assays using existing saliva samples in: CaPS and NSHD
See for example: Gardner M et al. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2013;38:40-49

- undertake qualitative interviews with HCS and NSHD participants (30 in each study)
See for example: The content of the interview topic guide, the sampling strategy and the characteristics of the sample achieved are described in a Centre for Longitudinal Studies working paper (2011/5), by Jane Elliott et al, October 2011

A full list of HALCyon papers that use these data is available 

Applying for data

Bona fide scientists can apply to access these data on wellbeing, telomere length and cortisol by completing the HALCyon data sharing form

For further details see also: UK Data Service ReShare


Qualitative data

Due to their highly sensitive and disclosive nature, researchers who wish to use the qualitative data collected will need to access these at agreed safe havens (the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education, the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at Southampton University or the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL) and should apply to do this through the respective data access systems of the two cohorts.

Guidance for accessing data through the NSHD data sharing process 

Hertfordshire Cohort Study
Please see the HCS website for access details