The Main Study
The Main Study
The MAIN Study was the first Midspan study undertaken under the directorship of Victor Hawthorne using the facilities of the Glasgow Mass Miniature Radiography Screening Unit.
The study took place between 1964-1968. Thirteen factories throughout the central belt of Scotland were visited and nearly 4000 people aged 15 to 70 took part, of whom more than 500 were women. The purpose of this study was primarily to measure cardiorespiratory health in the population at a time when TB was in decline.
Participants were asked to complete a health questionnaire similar to that used in the original Whitehall study. The answers were checked and a chest x-ray, electrocardiogram and respiratory function tests were carried out along with measurements of blood pressure and triceps thickness during a screening examination held in the factory. A Labstix analysis of a casual specimen of urine was later performed. A re-examination six weeks later was carried out for those who had an abnormal or equivocal finding.
The data collected were subsequently anonymised and recorded on computer. Flagging was established at the time with the Registrar General's Office for notification of mortality.
The Tiree study was a follow-on from the first Midspan study.
In May 1967 the Midspan team visited the Hebridean island of Tiree in order to record health details of all residents over the age of 15. The study arose from a concern to investigate the observation by the local general practitioner that the islanders had a higher level of blood pressure compared to their mainland counterparts.
In total 532 islanders (aged 14-92) took part in this study and later 230 of their relatives who had settled on the mainland were also recruited into the study in February and March 1968. They answered the same questionnaire as the MAIN study participants had done and underwent the same screening examination.