The Boyd Orr cohort is an historical cohort study carried out by the University of Bristol School of Social Medicine to investigate the long term impact of children’s diet, growth, living conditions and health on adult cardiovascular disease. It is based upon based on the 65 year follow-up of the Carnegie Survey of Diet and Health (1937-9).

It is based on the long term follow-up of 4,999 children who were surveyed in the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust’s study of Family Diet and Health in Pre-War Britain (1937-1939). With funding from the British Heart Foundation, the cohort was established in 1988 by Professors George Davey Smith and Stephen Frankel who retrieved the original research records of the pre-war survey from the Rowett Research Institute.

The Carnegie Survey was the brainchild of Sir (later Lord) John Boyd Orr, director of the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen from 1914 to 1945. The original research was funded by a grant of £15,000 to the Rowett Research Institute from the trustees of the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust. Key members of the original survey team were David Lubbock (research administrator), John Pemberton and Angus Thomson (medical examinations) and Isabel Dods (supervision of the diet survey team).

Subsequent work on the cohort has been funded by grants from the Medical Research Council (UK), the World Cancer Research Fund, Research into Ageing, UK Survivors, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the British Heart Foundation.

Findings from the cohort to date have investigated a range of disease endpoints, particularly coronary heart disease and cancer, in relation to infant and childhood diet, and markers of childhood nutritional status (body mass index, leg length and height).

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DNA bank

DNA bank (n = 734)

DNA was extracted from 4 ml K-EDTA venous blood and quantitated by picoGreen assay, validated by optical density 260nm/280nm checks, and concentrations were equalized. Long-term stock DNA aliquots were laid down, and working 96-well plates of DNA dilutions to 10 ng/µl were prepared. These dilutions are suitable for direct usage, for example 5ng PCR from genomic DNA, for preparation of long PCR sub-banks of specific gene regions and for genomewide preamplifications (using degenerate oligo primer methods or phi29 methods) to conserve stock DNA.

Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006 and the Confidentiality Advisory Group

The Boyd Orr study has sought approval from the Confidentiality Advisory Group to use your name, date of birth and NHS number to find cancer registration and death certificate records, in order to collect information for the study.   


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