SHARE Dried Blood Spot (DBS) Data

Dried Blood Spot Analyses: Understanding Cross-National Health Differences at Older Ages and Their Causes

Release 1.0.0
Date 29 May 2024
DOI 10.6103/SHARE.w6.DBS.100

This project is supported by the US National Institute on Aging (R01 AG063944) and coordinated by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (PI Axel Boersch-Supan).

This project will foster our understanding of cross-national differences in health and their causes, especially evaluating differences in health care systems, health behaviors, and historical life circumstances. Understanding differences and causes requires comparable measurements of health which do not suffer from cross-national differences in data collection and reporting styles. In this respect, analyses of blood samples are a gold standard of objective health measurement. SHARE, the European counterpart of HRS, has therefore collected dried blood spot (DBS) samples from about 27.000 respondents aged 50 and older in twelve Continental European countries.

The project has four specific aims:

  1. Capitalize upon the expertise of the laboratory at the University of Washington by having the full set of DBS collected in SHARE wave 6 assayed for the lipid panel and type-2 diabetes mellitus biomarkers relevant to general health and cognitive decline.
  2. Link the laboratory analyses with the SHARE functional and subjective health, demographic, social, and economic data, create a user-friendly database and archive it.
  3. Harmonize the data obtained from the assays of SHARE DBS, ELSA VB and HRS DBS and VB.
  4. Use these data to perform statistical analyses on the relationships between cross-national differences in health, economic, work and social circumstances, health behaviors and health care interventions.

Data for seven biomarkers have been released in May 2024.


Data Access:

Registered SHARE users can download the data from the SHARE Research Data Center. More information on how to register as a SHARE user is available here.

An extensive release documention is on the project‘s website.