Physical health topics

Many of the studies on the Catalogue include measures of participants’ physical as well as mental health. Although the Catalogue cannot provide item-level information about physical health data (as it does for mental health topics), it does now provide pointers to information on the physical health of study participants collected during each sweep of data collection for every study. This information is displayed below each study's timeline in the sweep-level information section, indicated by the medical briefcase symbol ( )

For each study, the Catalogue displays a list of physical health topics which are assessed during any particular sweep. This information includes measures of physical health conditions, symptoms and indicators of physical health collected via a range of methods, including self- and parent-report, as well as direct measurements of physical health collected by clinicians or study teams. The focus, or subject, of the physical health measures displayed also varies – these items can be about the cohort member themselves, their parents, grandparents or other relatives, and their partners. We encourage users to explore each study's datasets to discover more detailed information about the measures and data available.

Below is a full list of physical health topics and their descriptions, including examples of what symptoms, conditions, and disorders are included under each topic category.

  • Any items related to adverse reactions to foods, medications, animals and the environment (e.g., pollen, grass, mould)

  • This topic also includes conditions such as eczema and hay fever

  • Weight, height, and BMI

  • Measures of anthropometry can be reported by an informant (cohort member, parent, partner…) or collected as part of a physical health assessment conducted by a clinician, nurse, or study team.

  • This topic concerns measurements of blood pressure only

  • This topic does not include blood pressure-related health problems, such as hypertension

  • Diagnosis of any type of cancer (self-report or report of family history)

  • Also includes items related to cancer treatment (e.g., chemotherapy, radiation, surgery)

  • Any items concerning heart-related health

  • Conditions including heart attack, stroke, chest pain, angina, abnormal heart rhythm, heart disease, deep vein thrombosis

  • Also includes standard indicators of cardiovascular health, such as the QRISK Calculator

  • Any physical effects of Covid-19, including symptoms

  • Symptoms or diagnosis of long-Covid

  • Items related to testing, antibodies, and vaccinations

  • Any dental-related health, including visits to the dentist, fillings, tooth pain, wisdom teeth extractions

  • Child-specific dental-related health such as teething, teeth lost, teeth brushing

  • Diagnosis of diabetes (self-report or family history)

  • Any items related to dietary restrictions due to diabetes

  • Measures concerning diet and nutrition which are not included as part of the ‘eating disorders’ mental health topic

  • Items related to appetite, foods and drinks consumed, food preferences, weaning in infants, dietary restrictions (unless dieting due to dissatisfaction with weight and shape)

  • For measures of dieting and disordered eating, search ‘eating disorders’ on the Catalogue search page

  • Items related to fatigue, energy loss, chronic tiredness, and muscle weakness

  • Including diagnosis of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

  • For items related to sleep problems or loss of sleep please see ‘sleep quality’ below

  • Limitation or restriction of activities due to any physical health problem

  • Inability to complete day-to-day activities, often referred to as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as walking, washing, cooking independently or without struggle

  • Any items concerning children from birth to 12 months of age

  • Common infant-related health problems including preterm birth, jaundice, colic, cradle cap

  • Any items related to musculoskeletal health

  • Conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, muscular dystrophy

  • Also includes stiffness, joint problems, broken or fractured bones

  • Items concerning menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy. Including birth, delivery and postnatal health

  • Hormonal health, hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

  • Surgical procedures such as hysterectomy or oophorectomy

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), (loss of) libido, contraception use

  • Any items relating to acute or chronic physical pain, including phantom limb pain

  • Conditions such as chronic pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, migraines

  • Any items related to physical activity, including activities such as running, walking, cycling, swimming, and dancing, as well as activities like gardening

  • Diagnosis of any physical or congenital anomalies, usually identified at birth or in utero

  • Conditions such as sickle cell anaemia, spina bifida, cleft lip/palate, Down syndrome

  • Items related to accidents, injuries, and falls

  • Items related to the (in)ability to walk or move autonomously without the help of an aid (wheelchair, walking stick, crutches…) or another person

  • This topic also includes measures commonly collected during physical health assessments, including measures of gait and balance, grip strength, and chair stand tests

  • Any items related to pubertal development in children and adolescents, including onset of menstruation, facial changes, voice changes, hair growth, changes to body shape

  • Any acute or chronic respiratory health problems, such as asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary hypertension, pneumonia, emphysema, cystic fibrosis

  • This topic also includes measurements of lung function (e.g., spirometry, peak flow test)

  • This topic does not include smoking, for measures of smoking search ‘smoking’ on the Catalogue search page

  • Any indicators of sleep quality including self-rated quality of sleep, duration of sleep, difficulty falling asleep, waking in the night, and snoring

  • Sleep disorders such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnoea, narcolepsy

  • This topic also includes objective measures of sleep, such as polysomnography

  • Any items related to impairment to sight or hearing, such as the use of prescription glasses, blindness and vision loss, hearing loss, use of hearing aids or cochlear implants

  • This topic also includes various conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, tinnitus, and otitis media

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