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01.12.2015 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Health and Employment after Fifty (HEAF): a new prospective cohort study

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Keith T. Palmer, Karen Walker-Bone, E. Clare Harris, Cathy Linaker, Stefania D’Angelo, Avan Aihie Sayer, Catharine R. Gale, Maria Evandrou, Tjeerd van Staa, Cyrus Cooper, David Coggon
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12889-015-2396-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

KTP and DC identified the study questions and designed the study and its measuring instruments. KTP also supervised data collection and wrote the first draft of this paper. KWB, ECH, CL, AAS, CG, ME, TS and CC contributed significantly to the study’s design, content, measuring instruments and plan of execution. Additionally, ECH and CL led in data collection, cleaning and preparation, and the enlistment of participating general practices. SD performed the analyses. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Demographic trends in developed countries have prompted governmental policies aimed at extending working lives. However, working beyond the traditional retirement age may not be feasible for those with major health problems of ageing, and depending on occupational and personal circumstances, might be either good or bad for health. To address these uncertainties, we have initiated a new longitudinal study.


We recruited some 8000 adults aged 50–64 years from 24 British general practices contributing to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). Participants have completed questionnaires about their work and home circumstances at baseline, and will do so regularly over follow-up, initially for a 5-year period. With their permission, we will access their primary care health records via the CPRD. The inter-relation of changes in employment (with reasons) and changes in health (e.g., major new illnesses, new treatments, mortality) will be examined.


CPRD linkage allows cost-effective frequent capture of detailed objective health data with which to examine the impact of health on work at older ages and of work on health. Findings will inform government policy and also the design of work for older people and the measures needed to support employment in later life, especially for those with health limitations.
Additional file 1: Baseline HEAF Questionnaire. (PDF 1087 kb)
Additional file 2: HEAF Follow Up Questionnaire. (PDF 450 kb)
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