Poked And Prodded For 65 Years, In The Name Of Science
I was lucky enough to tag along.
These people, together with thousands of others living around the United Kingdom, were all born in the first week of March 1946, and they are all part of the world's longest-running study of human health.
At the time the study started, the British government was concerned about public health in the wake of World War II. And the health of children, born during a time of strict food rationing, was of particular concern.
Since their birth, the people in the study have been periodically poked, prodded and questioned by researchers. It may sound invasive, but a few awkward checkups in the teenage years aside, most of the study participants I spoke to didn't mind one bit.
Adrienne Mordan is one of many study members who has become more interested in the research as she's grown older. Today, like many in the room, she feels a sense of pride in what she has contributed. "As we get the study results, we can see sometimes they've actually influenced even governments," the 65-year-old says. "I feel very privileged to be involved with it."
Of the 5,362 babies originally enrolled in the National Survey of Health and Development, just 11 percent dropped out. Another 11 percent live abroad, and 13 percent have passed away.