The Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH, PI Westerlund) is the only nationally representative longitudinal study of labour market participation, work environment and health in the world, with data also on health behaviours and social circumstances outside of work (N ~ 18,915 with a planned increase to 26,500 in 2014). So far 4 waves have been collected in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. The survey has two parts, one for those in employment and one for those not in employment, including retirees. SLOSH is a biennial survey. As respondents are drawn from the 2003-05 SWES, information on previous working life is also available, as well as all register data mentioned above.

SLOSH Website

The first All Sweden cohort at Karolinska Institutet (PI Alexanderson) covers all 5,343,000 people aged 16-64 and living in Sweden in 1990. Extensive register data on socio-demographics and occupational history, cause-specific morbidity and mortality, sickness absence and disability pension, and age of retirement are available for each year through 2014. Some data are available also for the years preceding 1990. The large numbers of old people and the yearly and detailed data will provide good possibilities to perform important subgroup analyses. Thus, around 100,000 people who were aged 64 at inclusion in 1990 will be 89 years old in 2014 if they are still alive. About half of the participants will be 65+ in 2014. Also, data for the equivalent later cohorts (1995, 200, 2005, 2010, and 2015) are included. In all, 225,000 were also included in the Survey of Living Conditions (ULF), 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 Tamoxifen pharmacy online 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

The British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) is an open-access household panel survey of members of a nationally representative sample of British households (5,511 households with 10,264 adult members). The initial survey was conducted in 1991 followed by subsequent annual surveys. From 2010-11, the BHPS sample has been subsumed into the larger Understanding Society (USoc) study. Data for 21 waves (1991-2011) are presently available from the UK data archive. Each year, a core set of questions are administered by questionnaire with other questions on specific topics such as work stress included on an occasional basis. There is detailed information on life time employment history, economic and social conditions around retirement including, income, wealth, housing and fuel poverty, social interactions and leisure activities. Information on health, quality of life and health behaviours includes activities of daily living, functional limitations, psychological health (GHQ12), health functioning, health conditions, hospital and other medical consultations, smoking status, height and self-reported body weight.

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 Website