Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Why we want to measure your health again?

For most people, health changes gradually with age, often in subtle ways that we scarcely notice. We have already studied those changes by comparing the measures of health taken throughout your early life, and in adulthood. From these we learned a lot about the processes of ageing, building on our knowledge of how factors across life influence health and function. Now we would like to measure health again, to look at whether your health has changed since we last saw you.


What is the project’s purpose?

We are interested in exploring the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that contribute to healthy ageing. We aim to be able to identify preventive measures to maintain good health and activity for as many years of later life as possible, and to influence national health policy.


Why have I been invited to participate?

You have been invited to participate because you are a member of Medical Research Council (MRC) National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD), the British 1946 birth cohort study.


Why have I not received an invite?

We will be sending out a second batch of home visit invitations later in the year, so if you have not yet received an invite it could be due to being in this second batch.

If you have already had an Insight 46 visit for wave 3 (wave 3 started in September 2021), then you won’t need an additional home visit, as the measurements and tests are included within the visit.

Alongside the home visits, we are also recruiting for the 3rd wave of the Insight 46 clinic. If you have not received a home visit invitation it could be because we will be inviting you to clinic.


Do I have to take part?

No, your involvement is voluntary and it is up to you to decide if you would like to participate in this study. You do not have to participate in all assessments that are being offered, and you can opt out of some or all of the assessments at any time. If you decide not to participate, this decision will not in any way affect your ability to continue to participate in future NSHD data collections. It will not affect any NHS treatment you receive if you do not take part.


How long does the visit take?

The visit will take around 90 minutes to complete.


What are the possible benefits of taking part?

We will provide you with the results of any clinically relevant tests. We shall give you a summary of some of your results, and will send, with your consent, a copy to your GP. These will be blood pressure, lung function, height, weight, waist and hip circumference. The blood test will need to be interpreted by a specialist. The results from blood tests will be sent to you and your GP (with your consent) within 12 weeks of your appointment. During the visit, you will also be asked if you would like to receive a copy of these results. If you are not happy for your GP to know, you can nominate a member of our clinical team to act as your clinical advisor for these results.

You should be aware that being in a research study does not take the place of routine physical examinations or other check-ups with your doctor, and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat medical problems.


What are the risks of taking part?

Blood sample collection is a standard and very safe procedure and will be performed by trained personnel. There is a risk of fainting and a very small risk of bruising or infection. Some people feel lightheaded following insertion of the needle to minimise the risk of fainting, the sample will be collected while you are sitting down. Having a needle inserted can cause some discomfort and there is a very small risk of bruising or infection.


What do I need to do before the visit? 

Please wear comfortable light clothing. The nurse will need a space to conduct the tests; this can be a dining table, if available, or a sofa. Two dining room chairs are also needed for the tests. The nurse will collect a list of your current medication, so please have your repeat prescription or the medication boxes handy. There is no need to fast.


What messages or acknowledgments will I receive?

If you have a mobile, you will receive several text messages. One to let you know your response has been recieved. Once your appointment has been made, you will recieve a message to confirm the appointment, as well as a reminder just before the appointment. If you do not have a mobile, you will receive a letter or email instead.


Who are NatCen and Inuvi?

NatCen is Britain’s largest independent social research agency. NatCen have been carrying out high quality social research for over 50 years. They are a non-profit organisation, independent of all government departments and political parties.

Inuvi is a health data and insight company based in Wokingham which provides a UK mobile network of nurses and phlebotomists to collect health measures.  It also has its own laboratory that analyses blood tests and other biological samples.  You will be visited by an Inuvi research nurse to collect your health data as part of the NSHD home visit.


How can I be sure the nurse who called me is a genuine interviewer, calling on behalf of the MRC NSHD Study team at UCL?

If you have any concerns on the identify of the nurse, please do not hesitate to contact 020 7670 5705 or freephone 0800 952 0249.


I am not available at the moment for a visit. Can I have it later in the year?

The home visits are running through most of 2023, so if now is not a good time, then the nurse can call back later in the year.


The leaflet mentioned that you would like someone to answer some questions about me. Do I have to provide someone to answer questions about me?

Although it is very helpful to the study if someone is able to provide some additional information about your memory, it is not necessary to participate in the study.


Will I be able to see the answers which my family member or close friend said about me?

This questionnaire is confidential, so we will be unable to provide you with their answers.


The leaflet mentioned that you wish to access my medical/health records. Do I have to allow this?

The MRC NSHD Study team at UCL will only access your medical/health records with your consent.


The leaflet mentioned that you wish to provide me and my GP a summary of my test results. Do I have to allow this?

The MRC NSHD Study team at UCL will only do this with your consent.


I’m worried it will affect my ability to get or renew medical/life/travel insurance if the tests reveal a medical condition.

If you have any concerns then you may wish to check with your insurer before agreeing to take part in the study.


What will happen to the results of the research?

They will be published in medical and other research journals, and the MRC NSHD Study team will let you know each year (with the birthday card) what has been published and where.

No one in the study will be identifiable in any report or publication.