Cohort Descriptives

Variable Response
Cohort Name The Airwave Health Monitoring Study
Cohort Acronym Airwave
DOI Elliot, P. (2017). Airwave [Data set]. Dementias Platform UK.
Study Overview The Airwave Health Monitoring Study was established to evaluate possible health risks associated with the use of TETRA, a digital communication system used by the police forces and other emergency services in Great Britain since 2001. It is a long-term observational study following up the health of the police force with respect to TETRA exposure, and ability to monitor both cancer and non-cancer health outcomes. Baseline screening consisted of an enrolment questionnaire and a health screening.
#Subjects at Baseline c.55,000 completed the enrolment questionnaire, of which c.46,000 have also completed the health screening.
Institution Name Imperial College London
Department Name Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics School of Public Health
City London
Study/Database Website

Principal Investigator (PI) Prof Paul Elliott
Key Study References

Please see Literature section

Population Based Study? Yes
Family Based Study? No
Clinical based sample? No
Is there follow-up data available? No
Were participants included prior to development of dementia (may refer to controls only)? Yes
Were participants included prior to development of MCI (may refer to controls only)? Yes
How is data collected? Combination: In the first phase, every employee receives the enrolment (paper) questionnaire via routine administration or the occupational health service. This questionnaire is scanned and data received at Imperial College.
Who carries out data collection? Interviewers: Clinical staff: Nursing staff were involved although the questionnaires were carried out themselves.
Does this take place in participants' homes or at a central location? Home: Central: Paper questionnaires were sent out by each force to the home or office of employees and clinics were performed regionally.
Do participants take part individually or are families/partners involved? Individually
Dementia cases ascertained as part of study: No
Diagnosis based on review of existing clinical data No
Was diagnosis/primary outcomes made blind to exposure variables? No
How many times followed up? 2
Study start date 01/01/2004 00:00:00
Is study ongoing? Yes
Is study still recruiting? No
Inclusion criteria Baseline: people employed in the police force across the UK. Follow up: anyone who completed the health screening at Baseline and consents to long-term follow up from medical records.
Exclusion criteria Baseline: people unable to consent. Follow up: anyone who has filled in the enrolment questionnaire but not had the health screening, and/or who does not consent to long-term follow up from medical records.
Exclusion criteria


Variable type
Age At Screen
Country (England, Wales, Scotland) At Enrolment
Current Rank In The Force
Date Of Birth Of Spouse/Partner
Date Of Screening
Five Digit Barcode Number
Gender Of Participant
Participant Number
Questionnaire Version


Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Deprivation Number of people (including self) contribute to total household income Y
Deprivation Total income (including self) household received in the last 12 months Y
Deprivation Total personal annual income received before tax Y
Education Highest level of education completed to date Y
Employment Year of joining the police force Y
Employment Years in current role Y
Ethnicity Ethnic origin Y
Marital Status Marital Status Y

Family History

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Father Age of father at death Y
Father Cause of father's death Y
Father Whether biological father is still alive Y
Mother Age of mother at death Y
Mother Cause of mother's death Y
Mother Whether biological mother is still alive Y

Physical Health Status

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Cancer Cancer diagnosis Y
Cancer Type of diagnosed cancer Y
Cardiothoracic Angina Y
Cardiothoracic Heart attack Y
Cardiothoracic High blood pressure Y
Cardiothoracic High cholesterol Y
Cardiothoracic Hypertension Y
Cardiothoracic Other heart conditions Y
Cerebrovascular Stroke Y
ENT Deafness/partial hearing loss Y
Eyes Cataracts Y
Eyes Glaucoma Y
General Health Other conditions Y
Immunological Thyroid problems Y
Neurological Epilepsy Y
Pain Any pain/discomfort in chest in the past year Y
Pain Bothersome (moderate/severe) headaches Y
Pain Pain/discomfort goes away when standing still Y
Reproductive Any disease/condition or medical/surgical treatment that makes it difficult/impossible to have children Y
Respiratory Asthma Y
Respiratory COPD Y
Rheumatology Arthritis Y

Reproductive History

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Female Age when had HRT Y
Female Age when periods started/stopped Y
Female Ever/number of times been pregnant Y
Female Ever had HRT Y
Female Ever taken birth control Y
Female Menopause/periods stopped Y
Female Number of babies Y
Female Number of pregnancy attempts Y
Female Reason for end of pregnancy Y
Female Regular smoker before first pregnancy/during pregnancy attempts Y
Female Sex/weight of baby Y
Female Treatment received for infertility Y
Female Year when pregnancy ended/is due to end Y
Male Ever/number of times fathered a child Y

Mental Health Status

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Consultation Medical or other professional help sought to cope with disturbing incident Y
Mood Bothered by a disturbing incident which has occurred over the past 6 months Y
Mood Bothered by feeling depressed/hopeless in past 2 weeks Y
Mood Depression Y
Mood Feel bad about self/letting down family in past 2 weeks Y
Mood Feeling frightened as if something awful is about to happen in past 2 weeks Y
Mood Feeling tense/wound up in past 2 weeks Y
Mood Worrying thoughts in past 2 weeks Y
Trauma Been jumpy/startled at the unexpected following traumatic events Y
Trauma Bothered by being upset by reminders of traumtic event Y
Trauma Bothered by difficulty concentrating following traumatic events Y
Trauma Bothered by recurrence of upsetting thoughts/memories following traumatic events Y


Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Cognitive Performance Fluid intelligence Y
Cognitive Performance Paired associate learning Y
Cognitive Performance Stroop test Y
Cognitive Performance Two choice reaction time Y
Cognitive Performance Working memory test - forward digit span Y
Cognitive Status Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease Y
Cognitive Status Year of diagnosis of Parkinson's Y


Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Alcohol Current alcohol drinker Y
Alcohol Past drinking habits Y
Alcohol Reasons for stopping/reducing drinking alcohol Y
Alcohol Six or more drinks on one occasion Y
Alcohol Type of drinks consumed in the past seven days Y
Alcohol Year stopped drinking alcohol Y
Diet Amount and type of fruit/vegetables consumed Y
Diet Amount of coffee per day Y
Diet Amount of tea per day Y
Diet Days per week eating fruit/vegetables Y
Diet Following any special kind of diet Y
Diet Number of fizzy drinks per day Y
Diet Nut intake Y
Digital Technology Amount of time spent using hands-free equipment/handset while talking on mobile phone Y
Digital Technology Frequency of moving the mobile phone from ear to ear during calls Y
Digital Technology Hours spent watching television in past week Y
Digital Technology Symptoms experienced while using/shortly after using mobile phone Y
Digital Technology Total duration of phone calls made and received on mobile phone in past 24 hours Y
Digital Technology Uses hands-free equipment/headset with mobile phone Y
Digital Technology Uses mobile phone Y
Physical Number of days in past week walked for at least 10 minutes Y
Physical Time spent doing moderate physical activities on one day in past week Y
Physical Time spent doing vigorous physical activities on one day in past week Y
Smoking Number of cigarettes per day (past/present) Y
Smoking Year started/stopped smoking Y

Physical Examination

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Anthropometry BMI Y
Anthropometry Body type Y
Anthropometry Fat percentage Y
Anthropometry Height Y
Anthropometry Hip girth Y
Anthropometry Impedance Y
Anthropometry Sitting height Y
Anthropometry Weight Y
Heart ECG Y
Heart Pulse wave Y
Heart Sitting/standing blood pressure Y
Heart Sitting/standing pulse Y

Biosample Assays

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Biochemistry Albumin Y
Biochemistry Apolipoprotein A Y
Biochemistry Apolipoprotein B Y
Biochemistry Bilirubin Y
Biochemistry Calcium Y
Biochemistry Cholesterol Y
Biochemistry Creatinine Y
Biochemistry Fibrinogen Y
Biochemistry Glucose Y
Biochemistry HDL Y
Biochemistry Potassium Y
Biochemistry Sodium Y
Biochemistry Urine Y
Haematology Haematocrit Y
Haematology Haemoglobin Y
Haematology Platelets Y
Haematology Red/white blood cell count Y


Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Gene Based Hannum epigenetic age Y
Gene Based Hannum intrinsic/extrinsic epigenetic age acceleration Y
Gene Based Horvath epigenetic age Y
Gene Based Horvath intrinsic/extrinsic epigenetic age acceleration Y
Gene Based Houseman WBC estimates Y
Gene Based Levine epigenetic age Y
Gene Based Levine intrinsic/extrinsic epigenetic age acceleration Y


Variable type