Cohort Profile: Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study (GS:SFHS). The study, its participants and their potential for genetic research on health and illness

Int J Epidemiol. 2013 Jun;42(3):689-700. doi: 10.1093/ije/dys084. Epub 2012 Jul 10.


GS:SFHS is a family-based genetic epidemiology study with DNA and socio-demographic and clinical data from about 24 000 volunteers across Scotland aged 18-98 years, from February 2006 to March 2011. Biological samples and anonymized data form a resource for research on the genetics of health, disease and quantitative traits of current and projected public health importance. Specific and important features of GS:SFHS include the family-based recruitment, with the intent of obtaining family groups; the breadth and depth of phenotype information, including detailed data on cognitive function, personality traits and mental health; consent and mechanisms for linkage of all data to comprehensive routine health-care records; and 'broad' consent from participants to use their data and samples for a wide range of medical research, including commercial research, and for re-contact for the potential collection of other data or samples, or for participation in related studies and the design and review of the protocol in parallel with in-depth sociological research on (potential) participants and users of the research outcomes. These features were designed to maximize the power of the resource to identify, replicate or control for genetic factors associated with a wide spectrum of illnesses and risk factors, both now and in the future.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition
  • Cohort Studies
  • DNA / analysis*
  • Family Health* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genetic Research
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Record Linkage
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Pedigree*
  • Phenotype
  • Risk Factors
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • DNA