The Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH, PI Hugo Westerlund) is a prospective survey of work, labour market participation and health initiated in 2006 and comprising all respondents of the Swedish Work Environment Surveys from 2003-2011 (total N=40 877), making the participants approximately representative of the Swedish working population at entry into the cohort. Postal questionnaires are collected every second year and responses are linked to a comprehensive set of administrative register data. 23 417 persons had as of the 2018 wave participated in at least two waves and over 2 000 persons had been followed across retirement. The youngest participants are 18 at the first wave and participants have so far been followed up to the age of 79 years. The questionnaires have a strong focus on psychosocial working conditions and health, with data also on private social circumstances and health behaviours, as well as special questions for those who are temporarily or permanently out of employment. Register data add sociodemographic, occupational and health information.

SLOSH cohort profile:

SLOSH Website

The IMAS project (Insurance Medicine All Sweden) at Karolinska Institutet (PI Alexanderson) includes extensive microdata, linked at individual levels from several nationwide registers for seven cohorts. For instance, one cohort covers all 5,343,000 people aged 16-64 and living in Sweden in 1990. Extensive register data on socio-demographics and occupational history, diagnosis-specific morbidity and mortality, sickness absence and disability pension, and age of retirement are available for each following year. Some data are available also for the years preceding 1990. The large numbers of old people and the yearly and detailed data provide good possibilities to perform important subgroup analyses. Thus, around 100,000 people who were aged 64 at inclusion in 1990 were 91 years in 2016 if still alive and more than half of the cohort were 65+ in 2016. Also, data for the equivalent later cohorts (1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015) are included. In all, 225,000 were also included in the Survey of Living Conditions (ULF – SILC), which adds self-reported data on a range of issues.

The Swedish Work Environment Survey (SWES) is a biennial cross-sectional survey of working respondents from the nationwide Labour Force Survey. All participants in SWES from 1989 onwards are included in the epidemiological database at the Stress Research Institute, with register data linked both retrospectively and prospectively. At baseline, participants answered a questionnaire about their work. They are linked to register data comprising year-by-year information from 1987 onwards about demographics, employment, income, sick­ness absence and disability pension, hospital admissions, drug purchases (from 2005) and cause-specific death.

United Kingdom

The Whitehall II study of 10,308 British civil servants from 20 London-based departments (PI Kivimäki) recruited in 1985-1988 has extensive self-completion questionnaires, medical screening, and register data. Data is currently available from 9 study phases with data from phase 11 expected to become available during 2013. The participants were aged 35-55 years at baseline and aged 57 to 79 at the most recent phase 9 thus providing longitudinal data before, during and after retirement. A comprehensive range of measures related to work environment, retirement status, health behaviours and related physical, biological, cognitive and mental health variables has been collected.

Whitehall II Study Website

The English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing (ELSA) is an open-access, nationally representative biennial longitudinal survey of those aged 50 and over living in the community in England. So far 4 waves of data have been collected with a sample size of around 10,000 persons with wave 5 data expected to become available by 2013. ELSA contains a wealth of information on the health, finances and employment of older people. Importantly in wave 3 life history data, including employment, were collected. This offers a unique lifecourse perspective on the impact of working life on health in later life.

ELSA Website

Understanding Society, also known as the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), is an annual panel study representative of the British adult population over the age of 16–household members aged 10 to 15 are included as respondents of the youth questionnaire. At the first wave of the UKHLS in 2009/2011, data was collected from over 35 000 households, with interviews including a sample of over 100 000 people, which are followed-up annually. Fieldwork occurs over a period of two years and currently, eight waves of data (2009/11–2016/18) are available. As a multidisciplinary study, data from direct physical measurements, biological samples, as well as from self-reported questionnaires is collected. The UKHLS builds upon the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) that collected information from 1991 to 2008 and is included as one of the three main subsamples of the UKHLS. The other three subsamples of the UKHLS are: the general population sample; an ethnic minority boost; and an innovation sample for methodological research. The members of the BHPS sample have been incorporated in the second wave of the UKHLS in 2010; therefore, the BHPS sample can be followed-up into the UKHLS allowing the BHPS subsample to be extended to more than 25 years.

BHPS Website


The Finnish Public Sector Study (FPSS) (PIs Vahtera and Kivimäki), established in 1997/1998, has data from national health registers covering the years 1987/1994 to 2011 of all 151,618 employees with ≥6 month job contract in any year from 1991/1996 to 2005 in 10 towns and 5 hospital districts in Finland. Additional repeated survey data with 2-4 years intervals of a nested cohort of over 70,000 identifiable respondents cover the years 1997 to 2012. The study has been linked to records of special reimbursements for severe and chronic illnesses and related diagnoses and prescriptions of all purchased medicines with dates and dosages, based on the ATC-DDD (Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical) classification; dates and diagnoses of granted rehabilitation; dates and diagnoses of sickness absence, early retirement and statutory retirement; date and diagnosis of cancer morbidity, hospitalisations, occupational injuries and diseases; and overall and cause-specific mortality; and to work history over the life-course and periods of unemployment.

FPSS Website


The Well-being in Hospital Employees (WHALE) study (PI Naja Hulvej Rod) is a longitudinal observational cohort on work environment involving health care employees within the Capital Region of Denmark working at the time of questionnaire assessments in 2011 (N=29,004), 2014 (N=31,823) and 2017 (N=31,994) with response proportions above 80%. Self-reported information about employee physical and psychosocial work environment is collected at every wave. This is complemented by information about the organizational structure of all employees nested in work-units, departments, and institutions and administrative data on e.g. the organization of work time and sickness absence. The cohort is linked to national registers including information on e.g. hospital admissions, prescription medication, mortality and labour market attachment.

Cohort profile:

WHALE Website


The GAZEL (PI Zins) cohort comprises employees of the French national gas and electricity company. At baseline in 1989, 20,624 employees (73% men), aged 35-50, gave consent to participate. Information on health and work environment is collected by annual surveys. Data on job history, long-standing illness, and sickness absence are available from company records, and less than 1% of the participants were lost to follow-up until 2008. In 2013, 4,241 participants will be aged 55-64, and 16,369 will be 65-74 (counting also those who have or will have died).

GAZEL cohort profile :

GAZEL Website

The CONSTANCES general-purpose cohort with a focus on occupational and social factors, and on chronic diseases and aging. CONSTANCES is designed as a randomly selected sample of 200,000 persons aged 18-69 years at inception. At inclusion, the selected subjects are invited to complete questionnaires and to attend a Health clinic for a comprehensive health examination. A biobank is being set up. The follow-up includes a yearly self-administered questionnaire, and a periodic health examination. Social and health data are also collected from national administrative databases. Data collected for participants include social and demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, life events, behaviors, and occupational factors. The health data cover a wide spectrum: self-reported health scales, reported prevalent and incident diseases, long-term chronic diseases and hospitalizations, sick-leaves, handicaps, limitations, disabilities and injuries, healthcare utilization and services provided, and causes of death.

CONSTANCES cohort profile: