Cohort Profile: The Porton Down Veterans cohort study

Gemma Archer, Thomas J Keegan, Katherine M Venables, Lucy M Carpenter, Nicola Fear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Key Features

The Porton Down Veterans Cohort Study, established to investigate the long-term health of military veterans exposed to chemical agents as part of the ‘Service Volunteer Programme’ at Porton Down, UK, comprises two sub-groups: those who attended Porton Down, and a comparison group of similar veterans who did not attend Porton Down.

The cohort is unique in having high-quality quantitative information on chemical exposures associated with warfare and in being a large cohort of older veterans.

Baseline data on 38 466 veterans (median age at enlistment 18 years, range 14–56 years) were obtained from historical military personnel files and experiment books spanning the duration of the Service Volunteer Programme between 1941 and 1989.

The cohort was first followed up for mortality and cancer registrations in 2004 and again in 2019, and currently includes 36 287 veterans of whom 50.8% attended Porton Down, 99.3% are male, 94.7% were born in the UK and 56.3% have died.

Data are available on military demographics (including branch, unit and date of enlistment), chemical exposures (mainly nerve agents, vesicants, riot control agents), deaths and cancer registrations; enquiries regarding data accessibility and requests for collaboration should be made to Professor Nicola Fear: [].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E200-E205
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number4
Early online date1 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Cohort Profile: The Porton Down Veterans cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this