Data Linkage

Since baseline recruitment completion, we have worked to link our data to health records and this has helped to greatly extend our data resources. This section details our current data as well as potential future data linkage.


We aim to provide data that is both detailed and accurate. Data linkage plays a key role in maximising the value of Generation Scotland’s research data and can help to raise new research questions or to replicate current findings. It also allows continued follow-up of our participants without requiring re-contact.

Our linkage uses the Community Health Index (CHI), which is Scotland’s health care population register. The CHI register is the key to all patient data collected by the NHS in Scotland, which we can now link to our current participants who have given consent. 

Below is a bar chart detailing our current linkage and planned future linkage:

GS Linked Data Graph

SMR00             Out-patients

SMR01             In-patients

SMR02             Maternity

SMR06             Cancer Registry

SMR04             Mental Health

Died                 Mortality (NRS)

Presc               Prescriptions dispensed

Dental             NHS Dentistry

Lab                   SCI Store lab tests

GP                     Primary care data


We have now linked data from SCI Store routine NHS lab tests from Tayside, Glasgow, and Grampian area health boards.

We are currently working with Albasoft to extract primary care data from GP practices throughout Scotland. The governance and consent issues are complex, but we are collaborating with UK Biobank and SHARE to resolve them.


You might also be interested in:

Our Access Process
Our Access Policy
Research Publications