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Screengrab of the DPUK Data Portal homepage
The Aberdeen Children of the 1950s cohort will join dozens of others in the DPUK Data Portal

ACONF joins more than 40 other population and clinical cohort studies in the Data Portal, which brings together millions of health records in a secure, free-to-access resource in which researchers around the world can test their best ideas.

ACONF will also become part of DPUK’s Clinical Studies Register and Great Minds register of public volunteers, which are fast-tracking vital dementia research by inviting existing cohort participants to take part in new studies based on their known suitability for those studies.

DPUK’s senior project manager, Dr Simon Young, said: ‘We are delighted that ACONF has decided to join the DPUK platform. This not only adds another valuable cohort to the DPUK Data Portal, but it increases the number of potential volunteers for dementia research by several thousand via Great Minds and the Clinical Studies Register.’

The Aberdeen Children of the 1950s are 12,150 people born in Aberdeen between 1950 and 1956. When they were in primary school, they took reading and maths tests as part of a study done by the University of Aberdeen. The goal of the original study was to discover the causes of learning disabilities. The children’s test results were linked to other school records and to birth records in the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank.

In the late 1990s the participants were traced, with 81% living in Scotland and 73% still in the Grampian region. A postal questionnaire was sent out, and over 7,000 of the participants, giving information on their current health and a wide range of other topics. More information was then added from current medical records.

Today, the collected data from ACONF is used to investigate a wide variety of health-related research questions, including the long-term effects of attending different types of school, and the associations between multimorbidities (multiple co-existing health conditions) and premature death.

Professor Shantini Paranjohty, principal investigator of the ACONF cohort, said: ‘This is a really exciting step for the Children of the 1950s study to be included in the DPUK platform, and we look forward to supporting dementia research studies going forward.’