UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Understanding Society: Waves 2-3 Nurse Health Assessment, 2010-2012

Title details

SN: 7251
Title: Understanding Society: Waves 2-3 Nurse Health Assessment, 2010-2012
Alternative title: United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study; UKHLS
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-7251-3
Series: Understanding Society [Understanding Society: Waves 1- , 2008-]
Depositor: University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research
Principal investigator(s): University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Education
Department for Transport
Department of Health
Welsh Assembly Government
Food Standards Agency
Scottish Government
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Department for Communities and Local Government
Northern Ireland Executive
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Grant number: ES/K005146


The citation for this study is:

University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research. (2014). Understanding Society: Waves 2-3 Nurse Health Assessment, 2010-2012. [data collection]. 3rd Edition. UK Data Service. SN: 7251,

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Subject Categories

General - Health
Health services and medical care - Health
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture
Specific diseases and medical conditions - Health


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

Understanding Society (UK Household Longitudinal Study), which began in 2009, is conducted by the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER), at the University of Essex, and the survey research organisations are Kantar Public and NatCen. It builds on and incorporates, the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), which began in 1991. The latest release combines the first seven waves of Understanding Society data with harmonised data from all eighteen waves of the BHPS. As multi-topic studies, the purpose of Understanding Society and BHPS is to understand short- and long-term effects of social and economic change in the UK at the household and individual levels. The study has a strong emphasis on domains of family and social ties, employment, education, financial resources, and health.

Understanding Society is an annual survey of each adult member of a nationally representative sample. The same individuals are re-interviewed in each wave approximately 12 months apart. When individuals move they are followed within the UK and anyone joining their households are also interviewed as long as they are living with them. The study has five sample components: the general population sample, a boost sample of ethnic minority group members, an immigrant and ethnic minority boost sample (from wave 6), participants from the BHPS and the Innovation Panel (which is a separate standalone survey (see SN 6849). The fieldwork period is for 24 months. Data collection primarily uses computer assisted personal interviewing (CAPI), but includes a telephone mop up, and from Wave 7 of Understanding Society, web-based interviews. One person completes the household questionnaire. Each person aged 16 or older participates in the individual adult interview and self-completed questionnaire. Youths aged 10 to 15 are asked to respond to a paper self-completion questionnaire. For the general and BHPS samples biomarker, genetic and epigenetic data are also available (see SN 7251).

Further information about may be found on the Understanding Society main stage webpage.

End User Licence, Special Licence and Secure Access versions:
Users should note that there are two versions of the main Understanding Society data. One is available under the standard End User Licence (EUL) agreement, and the other is a Special Licence (SL) version. The SL version contains month and year of birth variables instead of just age, more detailed country and occupation coding for a number of variables and various income variables have not been top-coded (see the documentation available with the SL version for more detail on the differences). Users are advised to first obtain the standard EUL version of the data to see if they are sufficient for their research requirements. The SL data have more restrictive access conditions; prospective users of the SL version will need to complete an extra application form and demonstrate to the data owners exactly why they need access to the additional variables in order to get permission to use that version. The SL versions of the main Understanding Society and Innovation Panel studies may be found under SNs 6931 and 7083 respectively. Low-level and Medium-level Geographical Identifiers data are also available subject to SL access conditions; see SNs 6666, 6668-6675 and 7182 (main study) and 6908-6916 (Innovation Panel). In addition, a fine detail geographic dataset (SN 6676) is available under more restrictive Secure Access conditions that contains British National Grid postcode grid references (at 1m resolution) for the unit postcode of each household surveyed, derived from the ONS National Statistics Postcode Directory (NSPD). For details on how to make an application for Secure Access dataset, please see the SN 6676 catalogue record.

How to access genetic and/or bio-medical sample data from a range of longitudinal surveys:
A useful overview of the governance routes for applying for genetic and bio-medical sample data, which are not available through the UK Data Service, can be found at Governance of data and sample access on the METADAC (Managing Ethico-social, Technical and Administrative issues in Data Access) website.

The Wave 2 Nurse Health Assessment, conducted in 2010-2011 was completed with 15,591 adult participants from the General Population component living in England, Scotland or Wales who completed a full Wave 2 interview. In addition, blood samples were obtained from 10,175 individuals. The Wave 3 Nurse Health Assessment, conducted in 2011-2012 was completed with the BHPS sample component. Assessments were conducted with 5,053 individuals and blood samples were obtained from 3,342 individuals. The Nurse Health Assessment followed the main wave interview by approximately five months. The physical measures, biomarkers and questionnaire data from the Nurse Health Assessment interview are available from the UK Data Service. Genetics information is also available; see the Understanding Society website's health data section for more information -

For the third edition (December 2014), revised data for Waves 2 and 3 were deposited and new variables for blood analytes were released for the first time. The documentation has been updated accordingly.

The Special Licence version of the Understanding Society: Nurse Health Assessment study is held under SN 7587. It contains variables covering prescription medication codes and associated usage questions that are not included in the standard End User Licence version (SN 7251). Users are advised to check that study first to see if the data are suitable for their needs before making an application for the Special Licence version.

Main Topics:
The main measures in the Nurse Health Assessment are anthropometric measurements - height, weight, waist circumference, percentage of body fat; blood pressure, lung function, grip strength, and a number of derived variables for prescription medications. The biomarkers include lipids, liver and kidney function, markers for anaemia, diabetes, and inflammation as well as a number of hormones that provide information about ageing.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Dates of fieldwork: May 2010 - July 2012
Country: Great Britain
Spatial units: Countries
Government Office Regions
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Numeric data
Alpha/numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: National
Households and their individual members resident in Great Britain.
Time dimensions: Longitudinal/panel/cohort
Sampling procedures: Multi-stage stratified random sample
Two-stage stratified systematic sample - see documentation for details.
Number of units: Wave 2: 15,591 participants; blood samples from 10,175 individuals.
Wave 3: 5,053 participants; blood samples from 3,342 individuals.
Method of data collection: Face-to-face interview; Clinical measurements; Physical measurements
Weighting: Weighting used. See documentation for details.

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 02 May 2013
Latest edition: 10 December 2014 (3rd Edition)
Copyright: Copyright Economic and Social Research Council
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions of access for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
Quick Reference Guide to Coding of Prescription Medicines 7251_coding_prescribed_medicines_booklet.pdf 383
Measurement Protocol for Lung Function 7251_lung_function_using_ndd_easy_on-pc.pdf 827
Nurse CAPI Questionnaire 7251_nurse_capi_questionnaire.pdf 597
Nurse CATI Questionnaire 7251_nurse_cati_questionnaire.pdf 389
Nurse Communications with Participants 7251_nurse_communications.pdf 489
Nurse Consent Booklet 7251_nurse_consent_booklet.pdf 561
Information Leaflets for Nurse Visit 7251_nurse_information_leaflets.pdf 558
Measurement Protocol for Nurse Health Assessment 7251_nurse_measurement_protocol.pdf 881
Nurse Project Instructions 7251_nurse_project_instructions.pdf 911
"Revisions to Data, November 2014" 7251_revisions2014.pdf 193
Understanding Society Biomarker User Guide 7251_understandingsociety-biomarker-userguide-2014.pdf 1209
User Guide for Nurse Health Assessment Waves 2 and 3 7251_user_guide_health_assmt_w2_w3.pdf 476
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_7251_Information.htm 7
READ File read7251.htm 10


View publications... Hide publications...

By principal investigator(s):

Further publications based on Understanding Society (including those listed below) can be found on the UKHLS Publications webpage.

Burton, J., Nandi, A. and Platt, L. (2008) Who are the UK's ethnic minority groups? Issues of identification and measurement in a longitudinal survey, ISER Working Paper 2008-2. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from

Gray, M., Uhrig, S. C. N., Constantine, R., d'Ardenne, J. and Blake, M. (2008) Cognitive testing of Understanding Society. The UK Household Longitudinal Study questionnaire, ISER Working Paper 2008-4. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from

Lynn, P. (2009), Sample design for Understanding Society, ISER Working Paper 2009-1. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from

Berthoud, R., Fumagalli, L., Lynn, P., Platt, L. (2009) Design of the ethnic minority boost sample, ISER Working Paper 2009-2. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from

Nandi, A. and Platt, L. (2009) Developing ethnic identity questions for Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study, ISER Working Paper 2009-3. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from

Rabe, B. (2011) Geographical identifiers in Understanding Society, version 1, ISER Working Paper 2011-1. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from

Nandi, A., Platt, L. (2011) Effect of interview modes on measurement of identity, ISER Working Paper 2011-2. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from

Booker, C. and Sacker, A. (2011) ‘Limiting long-term illness and subjective well-being in families’, Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 3(1), pp.41-65.

Lynn, P. (2011) Maintaining cross-sectional representativeness in a longitudinal general population survey, ISER Working Paper 2011-4. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from

Ferragina, E., Tomlinson, M. and Walker, R. (2011) ‘Determinants of participation in the United Kingdom: a preliminary analysis’, Understanding Society .

Knies, G. (2011) ‘Life satisfaction and material well-being of young people in the UK’, Understanding Society .

Lynn, P., Burton, J., Kaminska, O., Knies, G. and Nandi, A. (2012) An initial look at non-response and attrition in Understanding Society, ISER Working Paper 2012-2. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from

Lynn, P. (2012) The propensity of older respondents to participate in a general population survey, ISER Working Paper 2012-3. Retrieved 14 November 2014 from

Knies, G., Burton, J. and Sala, E. (2012) ‘Consenting to health record linkage: evidence from a multi-purpose longitudinal survey of a general population’, BMC Health Services Research, 12(1), p.52.

Longhi S. (2013) Individual pro-environmental behaviour in the household context, ISER Working Paper 2013-21. Retrieved 17 February 2014 from

McFall, S. L. and Buck, N. (2013) ‘Understanding Society – the UK Household Longitudinal Survey: a resource for demographers’, in Applied Demography and Public Health, Springer Netherlands, pp.357-369.

Tippett, N., Wolke, D. and Platt, L. (2013) ‘Ethnicity and bullying involvement in a national UK youth sample’ Journal of Adolescence, 36(4), pp.639-649.

Resulting from secondary analysis:

For links to publications based on Understanding Society, including those listed below and others, please see the UKHLS Publications webpage.

Demey, D., Berrington, A., Evandrou, M. and Falkingham, J. (2011) 'The changing demography of mid-life, from the 1980s to the 2000s', Population Trends, 145 (Autumn), pp.16-34. Retrieved October 19th, 2011 from

Demey, D., Berrington, A., Evandrou, M., Falkingham, J. and McGowan, T. (2011) How has mid-life changed in Britain since the 1980s?, CPC Briefing Paper No. 2. Retrieved October 19th, 2011 from

McAloney, K. (2012) 'Inter-faith relationships in Great Britain: prevalence and implications for psychological well-being', Mental Health, Religion and Culture, (online), DOI:10.1080/13674676.2012.714359

Berrington, A., Stone, J. and Falkingham, J. (2013) The impact of parental characteristics and contextual effects on returns to the parental home in Britain, CPC Working Paper 29.

Crawford, C., Dearden, L. and Greaves, E. (2013) When you are born matters: evidence for England, IFS Reports, R80, London: Institute for Fiscal Studies. doi: 10.1920/re.ifs.2013.0080. Retrieved August 19, 2013 from

Crawford, C., Dearden, L. and Greaves, E. (2013) The impact of age within academic year on adult outcomes, IFS Working Papers, W13/07, May. London: Institute for Fiscal Studies. doi: 10.1920/wp.ifs.2013.1307. Retrieved August 19, 2013 from

Demey, D., Berrington, A., Evandrou, M. and Falkingham, J. (2013) 'Pathways into living alone in mid-life: diversity and policy implications', Advances in Life Course Research, 18(3), pp.161-174. doi:10.1016/j.alcr.2013.02.001

McAloney, K. (2013) ‘Mixed’ religion relationships and well-being in Northern Ireland’, Journal of Religion and Health, pp.1-10.

Demey, D., Berrington, A., Evandrou, M. and Falkingham, J. (2014) 'Living alone and psychological well-being in mid-life: does partnership history matter?', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 168(5), pp.403-410.

Hutchinson, J., White, P.C.L. and Graham, H. (2014) 'Differences in the social patterning of active travel between urban and rural populations: findings from a large UK household survey', International Journal of Public Health. doi 10.1007/s00038-014-0578-2

Correa, S., Durrant, G.B. and P.W. Smith (2014) When to stop calling? Using call record data to assess nonresponse bias in a longitudinal study, paper presented to the International Workshop on Household Survey Nonresponse, 2 September 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland.

Longhi S. (2014) 'Cultural diversity and subjective wellbeing', IZA Journal of Migration, 3(13), DOI: 10.1186/2193-9039-3-13

Kumar,A., Rotik, M. and Ussher, K. (2014) Pay progression: understanding the barriers for the lowest paid, London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Retrieved April 23, 2015, from

Cruise, S.M., Patterson, L., Cardwell, C.R. and O'Reilly, D. (2015) 'Large panel-survey data demonstrated country-level and ethnic minority variation in consent for health record linkage', Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 68, pp.684-692. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2015.01.011 (ISSN 0895-4356).

Dodds, R.M., Syddall, H.E., Cooper, R. et al. (2014) 'Grip strength across the life course: normative data from twelve British studies', PLoS ONE, 9(12): e113637. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113637

Emerson, E., Hatton, C., Robertson, J. and Baines, S. (2014) 'Perceptions of neighbourhood quality, social and civic participation and the self rated health of British adults with intellectual disability: cross sectional study', BMC Public Health 14, 1252. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-1252

Emerson, E., Robertson, J., Baines, S.andHatton, C. (2014) 'The self-rated health of British adults with intellectual disability', Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35, pp.591-6.

Robertson, J., Emerson, E., Baines, S.and Hatton, C. (2014) 'Obesity and health behaviours of British adults with self-reported intellectual impairments: Cross sectional survey', BMC Public Health, 14, pp.219.

Wakeling, P., Berrington, A. and Duta, A. (2015) Investigating an age threshold for independence at postgraduate level, Bristol: Higher Education Funding Council for England. Retrieved June 7th, 2016 from,105806,en.html

Emerson, E., Llewellyn, G., Hatton, C., Hindmarsh, G., Robertson, J., Man, N. and Baines, S. (2015) 'The health of parents with and without intellectual impairment in the UK', Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 59, pp.1142-54.

Evans, K. (2016)Working well: how employers can improve the wellbeing and productivity of their workforce, London: Social Market Foundation. Retrieved February 2nd, 2016 from

Keohane, N. (2016) Longer lives, stronger families: the changing nature of intergenerational support, London: Social Market Foundation. ISBN: 978-1-910683-08-8. Retrieved February 8th, 2016 from

Wheatley, D. and Bickerton, C., (2016) 'Subjective well-being and engagement in arts, culture and sport', Journal of Cultural Economics, forthcoming. doi: 10.1007/s10824-016-9270-0.

Zischka L. (2016) The link between 'giving' behaviours and a healthy social environment, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Reading. See record at

Chng, S., White, M., Abraham, C. and Skippon, S. (2016) 'Commuting and wellbeing in London: the roles of commute mode and local public transport connectivity', Preventive Medicine, Jul;88:182-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.04.014. Epub 2016 Apr 16.
Emerson, E., Hatton, C., Baines, S.and Robertson, J. (2016) 'The physical health of British adults with intellectual disability: cross sectional study', International Journal for Equity in Health, 15:11 doi:10.1186/s12939-016-0296-x

Emerson, E., Krnjacki, K., Llewellyn, G., Vaughan, C., Kavanagh, A. (2016) 'Perceptions of safety and exposure to violence in public places among working age adults with disabilities or long-term health conditions in the UK: Cross sectional study', Public Health 135, pp.91-6. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2015.10.036

Waller, S. Deane, J., Bradley, M., Hosking, I. and Clarkson, J. (2016) Inclusive Design Toolkit [website], University of Cambridge, Engineering Design Centre.

Hatton, C., Emerson, E., Robertson, J. and Baines, S. (2017) 'The mental health of British adults with intellectual impairments', Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 30, pp.188-197. doi: 10.1111/jar.12232

Evans, K., Holkar, M. and Murray. (2017) Overstretched, overdrawn, underserved: financial difficulty and mental health at work, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. Retrieved June 8th, 2017 from

Williams, M. and E. Gardiner (2017). ‘The power of personality at work: core self-evaluations and earnings in the United Kingdom’, Human Resource Management Journal.

Sacker, A., Ross, A., MacLeod, C.A., Netuveli, G. and Windle, G. (2017) 'Health and social exclusion in older age: evidence from Understanding Society, the UK household longitudinal study', J Epidemiol Community Health, 71(7), pp.681-690. doi:10.1136/jech-2016-208037

MacLeod, C.A., Ross, A., Sacker, A. and Windle, G. (2017) 'Re-thinking social exclusion in later life: a case for a new framework for measurement', Ageing and Society, September, pp.1-38. doi:10.1017/S0144686X17000794

Platts, L. G., Corna, L. M., Worts, D., McDonough, P., Price, D. and Glaser, K. (2017) 'Returns to work after retirement: a prospective study of unretirement in the United Kingdom', Ageing and Society, online early. doi:10.1017/S0144686X17000885 (The authors used the older versions of the data, so separate UKHLS and BHPS files).

Mohan, G., Longo, A., Kee, F. (2017) 'Evaluation of the health impact of an urban regeneration policy: Neighbourhood Renewal in Northern Ireland', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 71, pp.919-927. doi: 10.1136/jech-2017-209087

Mohan, G., Longo, A., Kee, F. (2018) 'The effect of area based urban regeneration policies on fuel poverty: evidence from a natural experiment in Northern Ireland', Energy Policy, 114, pp.609-618. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.12.018

Melo, P.C., Ge, J., Craig,T., Brewer, M.J. and Thronicker, I. (2018) 'Does work-life balance affect pro-environmental behaviour? Evidence for the UK using longitudinal microdata, Ecological Economics, 145, March, pp.170–181. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.09.006

Bond, N., Evans, K. and Holkar, M. (2018) Where the heart is: social housing, rent arrears and mental health, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. Retrieved April 30, 2018 from

Braverman, R., Holkar, M. and Evans, K. (2018) Informal borrowing and mental health problems, London: Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. Retrieved May 22, 2018 from

Weziak-Bialowolska, D., Bialowolski, P. and Sacco, P. L. (2018) 'Involvement with the arts and participation in cultural events — does personality moderate impact on well-being? Evidence from the U.K. Household Panel Survey', Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, advance online publication, June 21.


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