The Health and Employment After Fifty (HEAF) study

The need to keep Britain’s ageing population economically active has prompted government policies aimed at extending working lives. Working beyond traditional retirement age may not be feasible for those with major health problems associated with ageing, and depending on occupational/personal circumstances might be either good or bad for health. We have recently begun a major new prospective study (the HEAF study) that aims to explore this

Baseline data have been collected on 8000 men and women aged 50-64 years who are registered with 24 general practices contributing data to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). Participants complete a baseline postal questionnaire and we will access their anonymised GP health record via the CPRD. CPRD linkage offers us the ability to capture more frequent, detailed, objective health data than would be possible by interviewing people. Annual follow-up by postal questionnaire will continue for several years and will focus on information that cannot be obtained from general practice records, especially changes in employment, certain aspects of health, and social circumstances.

Location of the 24 participating GP practices in the HEAF study

Men working after 65 yrs: UK, 1992-2012