Health & Demographic Surveillance System Profile: The Birbhum population project (Birbhum HDSS)

Int J Epidemiol. 2015 Feb;44(1):98-107. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyu228. Epub 2014 Dec 23.


The Birbhum HDSS was established in 2008 and covers 351 villages in four administrative blocks in rural areas of Birbhum district of West Bengal, India. The project currently follows 54 585 individuals living in 12557 households. The population being followed up is economically underprivileged and socially marginalized. The HDSS, a prospective longitudinal cohort study, has been designed to study changes in population demographic, health and healthcare utilization. In addition to collecting data on vital statistics and antenatal and postnatal tracking, verbal autopsies are being performed. Moreover, periodic surveys capturing socio-demographic and economic conditions have been conducted twice. Data on nutritional status (children as well as adults), non-communicable diseases, smoking etc. have also been collected in special surveys. Currently, intervention studies on anaemia, undernutrition and common preschool childhood morbidities through behavioural changes are under way. For access to the data, a researcher needs to send a request to the Data Manager []. Data are shared in common formats like comma-separated files (csv) or Microsoft Excel (xlsx) or Microsoft Access Database (mdb).The HDSS will soon upgrade its data management system to a more integrated platform, coordinated and guided by INDEPTH data sharing policy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autopsy
  • Body Weights and Measures
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology*
  • Demography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Maternal Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status
  • Public Health Surveillance / methods*
  • Young Adult