Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (LBC1936)

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The Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936 are follow-up studies of the Scottish Mental Surveys of 1932 and 1947. The surveys had, respectively, tested the intelligence of almost every child born in 1921 or 1936 and attending school in Scotland in those years. Therefore, tracing and re-testing people who had taken part in the Surveys much later in their lives offered a rare opportunity to examine the distribution and causes of cognitive ageing across most of the life course. The studies were initially set up to study the determinants of non-pathological cognitive ageing, rather than focussing principally on dementia or other pathological cognitive disorders. This page provides information about the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936.

University of Edinburgh

Geographic coverage - Nations

Geographic coverage - Regions
Edinburgh & The Lothians

Start date

Catalogue record last updated


Sample type
Cohort study

Sample details
The Scottish Mental Survey 1947 took place simultaneously across schools in Scotland on June 4, 1947, testing a total of 70,805 children aged 10/11. Between 2004 and 2007, individuals from Edinburgh and the Lothians who might have taken part in the 1947 Survey were invited to participate in the LBC1936. The Community Health Index (lists of individuals registered with a general practitioner) was used to identify 1936-born individuals, supplemented by media advertisements. In total, 1091 participants joined the LBC1936 and were assessed at Wave 1.

Sample size at recruitment
70,805 (Scottish Mental Survey 1947)
1,091 (LBC1936 Wave 1)

Sample size at most recent sweep
293 (2023 - Wave 6)


Age at recruitment
10-11 years

Cohort year of birth


Data access
Data request - see data access guidance

Genetic data collected

Linkage to administrative data
Health data

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Additional information


First wave known as the Scottish Mental Survey 1947

Related themes
Covid-19 data collection, Biomarkers, Cognitive measures, Cognitive decline, Diet and nutrition, Education, Housing, Socioeconomic status and deprivation, Language and literacy, Loneliness and social isolation, Neighbourhood, Physical health assessment, Reproductive health, Work and employment, Sleep problems, Social care - receipt, Social care - need

Key Papers

Cohort Profile: The Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936.

Cohort Profile Update: The Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936.

Age UK
Medical Research Council
Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Wellcome Trust
University of Edinburgh
University of Queensland
National Institutes of Health
Mental health measures timeline

Sweep name:

Cohort member age:

Data collection period:


Physical health measures:

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