Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit

Current Projects

Project Title:

Economic appraisal of the choice and targeting of lifestyle interventions to prevent disease in deprived populations

Project Number:



Paul Boyle (University of St Andrews)
Frank Popham(University of St Andrews)
Murray Smith(University of Aberdeen)
Luke Vale (University of Aberdeen)
Diane Stockton (ISD)
Peter Craig (Chief Scientist Office)
Anne Ludbrook (University of Aberdeen)

Start Date:

Approved on 13-10-2009


As part of a wider MRC study, the proposed SLS project will link to the SLS estimates of small area prevalence of smoking (Moon et al., 2006) in order to study the role of this important disease risk factor in socio-economic inequalities in coronary heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. In particular we are aiming to study the interrelationship between deprivation – either area based (e.g. Carstairs) or individual (e.g. education) – and lifestyle (smoking in this case) and subsequent disease risk.

The proposed SLS project forms part of a wider MRC funded project with the following aims:

  • What is the contribution of different lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol, diet and physical activity), individually or in combination, to the excess burden of ill health and mortality from coronary heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes?
  • How does this excess burden vary across geographic areas and different social groups and how does this relate to access to health services and social deprivation?
  • What are the relative costs and benefits of alternative approaches to targeting interventions (by lifestyle factor, by location, by personal characteristics) and what are the impacts on health inequalities?

The SLS element will specifically contribute to aims I and II that will feed into III by using existing local area rates of smoking (to be added to the SLS) to assess the contribution of smoking to social inequalities in disease risk.

The SLS analysis will complement the main analysis conducted using the linked Scottish Health Survey (SHS) datasets. We propose to use the SLS as it is much larger and thus more powerful dataset although lacking in the behavioural information contained in the SHS. Adding health behavioural information (albeit at a small area rather than individual level) will make an important additional contribution to the understanding of health inequalities already provided by UK linked census studies.

Overall the project will contribute to understanding of the role of targeted interventions in reducing health inequalities.


Moon G, Attankhugag G, Barnard S, Twigg L, (2006) Smoking Prevalence in Scotland; 2003/4 subnational estimates: A Report for NHS Health Scotland.

Related Outputs (viewable on CALLS Hub):

Explore the variables held in the SLS data dictionary.

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