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 the month of June in those years. Therefore, tracing, recruiting and re-testing people who had taken part in the Surveys offered a rare opportunity to examine the distribution and causes of cognitive ageing across most of the human life course. The studies described here were initially set up to study determinants of non-pathological cognitive ageing; i.e. the ageing of cognitive functions largely in the normal range, and not principally dementia or other pathological cognitive disorders.

Please use the menu to the left to find out more about the studies. Additionally the publication ’Cohort profile: The Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936’ in the International Journal of Epidemiology can be accessed here.

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Lothian Birth Cohorts’ profile and protocol articles: collect the set


The Lothian Birth Cohort studies began in 1999. The LBC1921 and LBC1936 studies have data that reach far beyond those originally anticipated. Here, we list the profile, protocol and summary articles that provide overviews of the studies. The table below provides a brief description of each article, including where to find it and when to cite it. To download a PDF version of this table containing more details on the contents of each article, click here.