Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit

Current Projects

Project Title:

Understanding impact of fertility history on health outcomes in later life

Project Number:



Chris Dibben (University of St Andrews)
Zengyi Huang (University of St Andrews)
Lee Williamson (University of St Andrews)

Start Date:

Approved on 06-04-2011


This study is part of the Scottish Health Informatics Programme (SHIP), specifically Research Programme 4 on Demographic, Socio-Economic and Environmental Data Linkage and Exemplar Study 1 on Longitudinal Research Support.

The project will seek to draw on and extend work on reproductive histories and health outcomes in mid and later life. It is however acknowledged that we will not be able to follow-up SLS members to very old ages, given that, for example, the maternity inpatient and day case dataset SMR02 is only computerized from 1975. Nevertheless, it is known that either not having children or the number of children (parity) can be linked to specific health outcomes at mid and later life for women (Grundy & Kravdal 2007; Grundy & Tomassini 2005; Henretta et al 2008). The countries for which the research by Grundy and others was conducted in was England and Wales, Norway, America and Britain as a whole, without distinguishing Scotland. We aim to extend this research based on Scottish data and to compare findings.


Grundy E, Kravdal Ø. (2008). Reproductive history and mortality in late middle age among Norwegian men and women. American Journal of Epidemiology 167(3):271-279.

Grundy E, Kravdal Ø. (2010). Fertility history and cause-specific mortality: A register-based analysis of complete cohorts of Norwegian women and men. Social Science & Medicine, 70:1847-1857

Grundy E, Tomassini C. (2005). Fertility history and health in later life: a record linkage study in England and Wales. Social Science & Medicine, 61:217-228.

Henretta, J. C., Grundy, E. M. D., Okell, L. C., & Wadsworth, M. E. J. (2008). Early motherhood and mental health in midlife: a study of British and American cohorts. Aging & Mental Health, 12:605-614.

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