South East London Community Health Study (SELCoH)

The SELCoH study was an epidemiological cohort study of randomly selected households within Southwark and Lambeth. The study was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre

Why Southwark and Lambeth?

The population is highly diverse in terms of ethnicity and wealth, with areas of deprivation and areas of affluence sometimes very close. This ensures that the study encompasses a wide range of health service users as possible. The information collected gives us a better understanding of the health needs of the community and enables service providers to plan and improve services more effectively.

The SELCoH study was designed to collect accurate and up-to-date information about both the physical and mental health of people living within the local communities of Southwark and Lambeth.

This work is vital to ensure public health resources are used wisely. It is crucial that any such research is done in a way which can also help us to better understand if links exist between health and other social factors. By asking questions on both, we can start to understand the impact socioeconomic factors such as income or education have on people’s health, as well to understand if other demographic factors such as age, culture, ethnicity and/or residence make a difference on people’s well being.

Phase I of the study was completed in 2010 with 1,698 adults aged 16 and over from 1,075 randomly selected households in Southwark and Lambeth taking part in the survey.

Phase II was focused on understanding health inequalities and closely linked to the Health Inequalities Research Network (HERON), which aims to provide a forum in which health practitioners, researchers and community members can share their experiences and information to further understand the problems affecting health.  Phase II aimed to examine the contribution of discrimination and to inequalities in social functioning, common mental disorders, physical functioning, and health service use. 

Phase III was completed in 2015 with 500 participants who agreed to be re-contacted at Phase I and to attend an interview at the NIHR/Wellcome Trust King’s Clinical Research Facility at King’s College Hospital.  It provided a further biomedical follow up of the sample. This allows us to understand how stress and low mood are related to biological responses such as inflammation, HPA reactivity and cardiovascular outcomes, for which high quality population data are sparse.

SELCoH Data are available to King’s College London staff and students who may wish to use it for analysis and publications. If you would like to find out more about the data and how to obtain permission to use the dataset, please contact the administrator at

For more information

If you would like to find out more information about the study please visit our South East London Community Health Study (SELCoH) ( There you will be able to find a link to the full report as well as up to date information about future research coming out of the study as it is published.