Lifeways Cross-Generation Cohort Study

Data Collection Type
National surveys

University College Dublin School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science.

Year established

2001, mothers and infants recruited during 2002-3.

Statement of purpose

The Lifeways Cross-Generation Cohort Study was established to assess the influence of socio-economic, lifestyle, cross-generational and health service factors associated with health and development, and contains data on mothers, fathers, children, and grandparents.

Coverage (geographical and temporal)

As of Mar 2022 1,133 families have been involved, recruited from the Dublin and Galway City catchment areas. Study data is available on 1,133 mothers, 1,114 children, 505 fathers and 1,604 grandparents. Data collection commenced in 2001 with gone through multiple rounds of collection and is currently ongoing.


Lifeways is a unique cohort study, designed to capture Irish longitudinal life-course data, by recruiting three generations of the same family. Participants, who are essentially well at baseline, are followed up over time. As outcomes or diseases slowly develop, baseline data are then analysed to identify lifestyle, socio-economic and health service factors, which are associated with these outcomes.

Data users


Data content

Self-reported baseline lifestyle and health status information; ante-natal and birth records; immunisation records; follow up data from GPs; measurements of BMI, blood pressure and collection of blood, hair and saliva samples; follow-up health and lifestyle questionnaires at six and ten years.

Data dictionary

There is a data dictionary in place that is not available online but can be requested.

National-level identifier variables

No national-level identifier variables in the cohort.

Equity stratifiers

Data is stored on place of residence, occupation, gender, education, socioeconomic status, age, health information, and parents’ smoking/alcohol status.

Data collection methodology

Data is collected from a variety of sources including questionnaires, electronic ante-natal and birth records; immunisation records from HSE; child and adult health records; GP note searches; analysis of clinical samples. Follow-up rounds of data collection are performed at key developmental points: during pregnancy, Child aged 0, aged 3/year 4, aged 5/year 6, aged 9/10, with a year 20-21 follow-up planned.
A scientific newsletter was sent to 777 families in January 2022.

Clinical coding scheme

N/A, internal codebook used.

Size of national collection

No annual data collection. Cohort contacted at distinct follow-up points: 3 years, 5 years, and 9 years after proband child birth.

Publication frequency

Findings from the study are published on an on-going basis. A list of publications to date is available at

Accessing data

Access to the data is only through direct collaboration with the PI and the project researchers.

Open data portal access


Email contact
Telephone contact