What information has already been added to my data?

Information added from mortality records

NHS Digital periodically inform us if study members have died. The files we receive from NHS Digital tell us when study members have died (month and year) and the cause of death. Receiving this information helps us ensure we do not try to contact those who have died. We also use it for important research.

In order to receive this information from the NHS we have to obtain special approval under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 from the NHS Confidentiality Advisory Group and the NHS Digital Data Access Advisory Group.

Information added from routine health records

In the Age 42 survey, we asked you (or your partner – if you had one) if we could add to the survey data, some information held by the National Health Service (NHS) about your health, such as visits to the doctor, nurse or midwife, hospital attendance or admission and the dates of these visits, health diagnoses or conditions, medicines, surgical procedures or other treatments you have received.

If you gave us permission, we are now starting to get some information about your health and have already added some information from your hospital records. We have not yet added this information for your partner (if relevant).

As part of the UK Longitudinal Linkage Collaboration, we are adding information from your NHS health records to support research into COVID-19. This includes your COVID-19 test results, if you had one, and your vaccination status. We are only doing this if you have given us permission to add information from your health records.

If you took part in the COVID-19 web surveys and have used the COVID-19 symptom tracker app, the data collected by the app will be linked to your survey data unless you have opted out of this. See the FAQs, ‘COVID-19 Survey – COVID symptom tracker’.

These records, combined with the information you have given us during the surveys, will allow researchers to look in greater detail at what affects your health, including the factors that prevent or contribute to poor health, and how your health can affect other aspects of your life. This will help policymakers improve services for you and other generations.

Information added from routine economic records

In the Age 42 survey we also asked if we could add to the survey data information held about you (or your partner – if you had one) by

– the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), such as benefit claims and periods on employment programmes and
– Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), about employment, earnings, tax credits and occupational pensions, and National Insurance Contributions.

We are now in the process of adding this information from your records to the survey data. We have not yet collected this information for your partner (if relevant), but we are intending to add information from their records in the near future too.