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Data & documentation

On this page you will find information on how to access ELSA data through the UK Data Service. Please also use the links below to access study documentation from all waves of ELSA.

Sample design

Sample members are drawn from respondents to the Health Survey for England (HSE). ELSA participants have a face-to face interview (a computer-assisted personal interview or CAPI, followed by a self-completion questionnaire or PAPI). A health visit is also carried out. For waves 1-7, this was carried out on the whole sample every four years. From wave 8 onwards, a health visit was carried out on half the sample every two years. From Wave 11, a health visit will be carried out on the whole sample. 

At waves 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 the study was replenished with new study participants (refreshments) from HSE to maintain the size and representativeness of the panel.

At wave 3, respondents were invited to participate in a life-history interview to capture information about important events that had taken place previously in their lives. A further life history module is planned for Wave 11. 

Data are currently available up to Wave 10. Fieldwork for Wave 11 started on 12th October 2023 and the are expected to be available on UKDS by December 2024

Data collection

ELSA fieldwork is coordinated by our partner the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen). To enable longitudinal analysis, the same key topics are included in the content of the questionnaire for each wave, while others may be rotated on and off.

 

The health visit involves measurements of physical function, anthropometric measurements and collection of blood samples (for extraction of biomarkers and DNA).

 

To view which basic topics are asked at individual waves and the biomarkers that are analysed, please click here.

Contact

For data queries please contact ELSAdata@natcen.ac.uk or ELSA@ucl.ac.uk. 

 

For details on how to access non-archived data please email ELSAdata@natcen.ac.uk.

 
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