Cohort Descriptives

Variable Response
Cohort Name Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study
Cohort Acronym GS: SFHS
DOI Porteous, D. (2017). GS: SFHS [Data set]. Dementias Platform UK.
Study Overview The aim of GS: SFHS is to establish a large, family-based intensively-phenotyped cohort recruited from the general population across Scotland, as a resource for studying the genetics of health areas of current and projected public health importance. It aims to identify genetic variants accounting for variation in levels of quantitative traits underlying the major common complex diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, mental illness) in Scotland. DNA and non-identifiable information from this cohort will be made available to researchers in Scotland and international collaborators. Baseline data was collected at a single clinic visit. Longitudinal data is available by linkage to NHS medical records. Some participants are being invited to new clinic visits in 2015-17. This profile also includes scanning information from the Stratifying Resilience and Depression Longitudinally (STRADL) study to which approximately 3,000 GS participants have been invited for scanning.
#Subjects at Baseline 21476 plus 2484 postal participants (saliva for DNA, pre-clinic questionnaire, PCQ). 59% female..
Institution Name Universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow and NHS Scotland
Department Name Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh
City Edinburgh
Study/Database Website

Principal Investigator (PI) Prof David Porteous
Key Study References

Please see Literature section

Population Based Study? Yes
Family Based Study? Yes
Clinical based sample? No
Is there follow-up data available? Yes
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? Mostly in person but some people are contacted through post: 21,476 plus 2,484 postal participants
Who carries out data collection? Interviewers and clinical staff: research nurses
Does this take place in participants' homes or at a central location? Central
Do participants take part individually or are families/partners involved? Individually and Family
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? Less often: Follow up is through NHS linkage data. However, some of the cohort have been invited into the Stratifying Resilience and Depression Longitudinally (STRADL) study that will involve MRI scans (approx 10% of the cohort).
Study start date 23/01/2006 00:00:00
Is study ongoing? Yes
Is study still recruiting? No
Inclusion criteria Originally, the team only recruited people with family members who would also take part. Probands increased to include aged 18+.
Exclusion criteria Unable to consent.


Variable type
Age At Participation
Appointment Date
Clinic Code
Family ID
Health Board Code (Data Collection)
ID Of Father/Mother
In GWAS #1
Linkage Identifier
Month/Year Of Birth
Postcode Area


Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Deprivation Accommodation status Y
Deprivation Number of cars/vans available to household Y
Education Highest educational qualification Y
Education Number of years at school/full time study Y

Family History

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Father Alzheimer's/Parkinson's disease Y
Father Asthma/COPD Y
Father Cancer/type diagnosed with Y
Father Country/area father was born Y
Father Depression Y
Father Diabetes Y
Father Father's age at death/year of death Y
Father Father's year of birth Y
Father Heart disease/high blood pressure Y
Father Hip fracture Y
Father Osteoarthritis/rheumatoid arthritis Y
Father Stroke Y
Gparents Alzheimer's/Parkinson's disease Y
Gparents Asthma/COPD Y
Gparents Cancer/type diagnosed with Y
Gparents Depression Y
Gparents Diabetes Y
Gparents Grandparents' birth locations Y
Gparents Heart disease/high blood pressure Y
Gparents Hip fracture Y
Gparents Osteoarthritis/rheumatoid arthritis Y
Gparents Stroke Y
Mother Alzheimer's/Parkinson's disease Y
Mother Asthma/COPD Y
Mother Cancer/type diagnosed with Y
Mother Depression Y
Mother Diabetes Y
Mother Heart disease/high blood pressure Y
Mother Hip fracture Y
Mother Mother year of birth/death Y
Mother Osteoarthritis/rheumatoid arthritis Y
Mother Stroke Y
Siblings Alzheimer's/Parkinson's disease Y
Siblings Asthma/COPD Y
Siblings Cancer/type diagnosed with Y
Siblings Depression Y
Siblings Diabetes Y
Siblings Heart disease/high blood pressure Y
Siblings Hip fracture Y
Siblings Osteoarthritis/rheumatoid arthritis Y
Siblings Stroke Y

Early Life History

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Birthplace Country/area of birth Y

Physical Health Status

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Cancer Bowel cancer Y
Cancer Breast cancer Y
Cancer Lung cancer Y
Cancer Prostate cancer Y
Cardiothoracic Heart disease Y
Cardiothoracic High blood pressure Y
Cardiothoracic Myocardial infarction Y
Cardiothoracic Possible angina Y
Cerebrovascular Stroke Y
General Health Diabetes Y
General Health Hip fracture Y
Pain Back pain Y
Pain Chest pain Y
Pain Chronic pain grade Y
Pain Stomach/abdominal pain Y
Respiratory Asthma Y
Respiratory COPD Y
Rheumatology Osteoarthritis Y
Rheumatology Rheumatoid arthritis Y

Reproductive History

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Female Menstrual Information Y

Psychological Status

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Personality Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Y

Mental Health Status

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Disorders Current major disorder Y
Disorders SPQ-B (Schizotypal Personality Disorder) Y
Mood Depression self report Y
Mood General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) Y
Mood Number of psychotic episodes Y


Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Cognitive Performance Digit-Symbol Coding Y
Cognitive Performance Logical Memory Y
Cognitive Performance Mill Hill Vocabulary Y
Cognitive Performance Verbal Fluency Y
Cognitive Status Alzheimer's disease Y
Cognitive Status Parkinson's disease Y


Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Alcohol Alcohol units per week Y
Alcohol Ever had an alcoholic drink Y
Smoking Age when started/stopped smoking Y
Smoking Smoking status Y
Smoking Years smoked Y

Physical Environment

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Housing Total number of people in household Y
Housing Type of accommodation Y
Housing Whether live with partner Y

Physical Examination

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Anthropometry Body Fat Composition (bio-impedance) Y
Anthropometry Body Mass Index Y
Anthropometry Height Y
Anthropometry Hips Y
Anthropometry Waist Y
Anthropometry Waist / Hip Ratio Y
Anthropometry Weight Y
Heart Blood pressure Y
Heart ECG Y
Heart Heart rate Y
Lung Lung function Y

Biosample Assays

Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Biochemistry Cholesterol Y
Biochemistry Creatinine Y
Biochemistry Glucose Y
Biochemistry Potassium Y
Biochemistry Sodium Y
Biochemistry Urea Y
Biochemistry Urine sample available Y
Haematology Plasma sample available Y
Haematology Serum sample available Y
Haematology Whole blood sample available Y


Sub-category Variable type Baseline
MRI fMRI-rest Y
MRI T1-weighted MRI Y
MRI Diffusion Y


Sub-category Variable type Baseline
Genotyping DNA from saliva Y
Genotyping DNA sample Y
Genotyping Gene screening Y