In 1967, LSHTM began its major Health Survey of Male Civil Servants aged 40 or over. This is widely referred to as the Whitehall Study. The study was the first to draw attention to important links between lifestyle, particularly smoking, inherited risk factors and subsequent disease. It found significant differences in life expectancy between civil servants on administrative grades and those in lower positions, basically the lower the grade of employment, the higher the death rate from all of the major causes of death. This was a crucial finding for establishing a link between social status and health, and the Whitehall study thus occupies a key place in the history of debates about the social determinants of health
The collection comprises of raw data and administrative papers from the original study, as well as follow-up papers from the 1970s. The collection will be catalogued according to international standards, repackaged in preservation materials, and conservation measures will be undertaken. The resulting descriptions will be made available to the medical history community via the Archives Service online catalogue, and publicised through a range of dissemination activities.