A feasibility study to explore the governance processes required for linkage between dental epidemiological, and birth cohort, data in the U.K.

Peter F. Day*, Emily Petherick, Jennifer Godson, Jenny Owen, Gail Douglas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Birth cohort initiatives, such as ‘Born in Bradford’, provide a unique opportunity to study the influence of socio-economic and environmental factors acting in pregnancy, birth and infancy on the development of dental caries in later life. This paper describes a feasibility study which established the processes required, and outcomes of, successful linkage of oral health data collected by the 2013 three-year-old national dental epidemiology survey with the Born in Bradford birth cohort database. The necessary processes included achieving research permissions and ethical approval; creation of a data sharing agreement; ensuring data security and encrypted data transfer. With regard to the outcomes, a robust riori statistical plan was developed. 152 three-year-old children were examined for the 2013 dental epidemiology survey in Bradford, and of those, 69 parents consented to data linkage believing that their child was part of the Born in Bradford cohort. However, only 36 of these 69 children were participating in the cohort. Of these, six children had obvious dentinal caries experience (dmft >0). There was insufficient power with such small numbers, to examine the association between birthweight and dental caries at the age of three-years-old. Key learning points from this feasibility study have informed the design of a larger study to link the 2014/5 five-year-old dental epidemiology surveys with the Born in Bradford cohort. This paper reveals the important methodological considerations for future data linkages between routine health data and research data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-203
Number of pages3
JournalCommunity dental health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
These studies have been supported by funding from the Oral and Dental Research Trust. The research team acknowledges the support of the National Institute of Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN). One of the authors of this paper (PD) was supported by the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Yorkshire and Humber (NIHR CLAHRC YH). www.clahrc-yh.nihr.ac.uk. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© BASCD 2018.


  • Birth cohort
  • Dentl cries
  • Dentl dt linkge
  • Fesibility stdy
  • Lifecorse eidemiology


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