SPHS introduction

The Singapore Population Health Studies (SPHS) is a population-based health research initiative of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore. The goals of SPHS are to discover how lifestyle factors, physiological factors, genetic factors and their interactions impact the development of common health conditions. In addition, we aim to monitor risk factors in the population and gain insight into determinants of health-related behaviours. For this purpose, SPHS involves the participation of 50,000 adult Singaporeans and long-term residents from three major ethnic groups (Chinese, Malay and Indian). SPHS will thus lead to a better understanding of health issues in urban Asian settings, and to the development of improved preventive and therapeutic measures for our local population as well as other Asian populations.

SPHS consists of several cohort studies: the Multi-ethnic Cohort (MEC)¹, the Diabetic Cohort (DC)¹, Singapore Health (SH) studies and the Community Health Study (CHS).

The MEC comprises large numbers of each ethnic group that do not have chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer at baseline. This allows the comparison of risk factors for such diseases across ethnic groups and the study of their relationship with chronic disease outcomes during follow-up of the cohort.

DC studies the determinants of complications among persons with type 2 diabetes. The participants were recruited from multiple primary and tertiary health care institutions. Medical records data are being gathered from both archived notes and the Electronic Medical Records Exchange shared by the public health care sector.

SH studies are nationally representative cross-sectional surveys with consent obtained from the participants to allow longitudinal follow-up.

CHS is conducted on selected neighbourhoods in Singapore to profile the health status and assess the health needs of the residents. Consent is also obtained from the participants for longitudinal follow-up.

These studies examined lifestyle factors such as diet, alcohol consumption, tobacco use and environmental tobacco exposure, physical activity, sleep habits and sedentary behaviours. These data were collected through face-to-face interviews using validated questionnaires. In addition, participants were all invited for health examinations that included measurement of body fatness and blood pressure, additional physiological parameters depending on the cohort and collection of blood and urine samples. Blood and urine samples were typically collected for immediate tests on blood glucose and lipids and urine protein levels and also stored for future research on cardio-metabolic risk factors and metabolomics profiles. Genome-wide association studies and sequencing have generated extensive genetic information from some of the cohorts and further laboratory investigations are being planned for the stored samples. Disease follow-up for all the cohorts is conducted by active follow-up every 5 years and linkage to national disease and death registries.

The links below will direct you to more detailed information about each cohort including a description of the study population, the collected data, and links to the consent and data collection forms.


A round of follow-up on all of these cohorts have begun in 2016 and will complete in 2021. This is the first follow-up wave of the entire SPHS. More details on this first wave are available here.

¹ MEC and DC were formerly cohorts of the Singapore Consortium of Cohort Studies, which later evolved into the present SPHS as its research mandate subsequently extended to other types of population-based studies.


Data Dictionary Whole blood DNA (*buffy coat) Plasma Citrate plasma Serum PBMC Red blood cells Clot Urine
Multiethnic Cohort (2006-2010) Download (0.3MB)
Multiethnic Cohort (2013-2015) Download (0.1MB) *√
Revisit of the Multiethnic Cohort Phase 1 Download (1.1MB) *√
Diabetic Cohort Download (0.2MB)
Revisit of the Diabetic Cohort Download (0.9MB) *√
Singapore Health 2012 Download (0.2MB)
Singapore Health 2 Download (1.2MB)
Community Health Study Download (0.1MB) *√
First SPHS Follow-up : MEC (Phase 1), DC and SH2012 Download (0.3MB) *√
First SPHS Follow-up : MEC (Phase 2) Download (0.3MB) *√
First SPHS Follow-up : SH2 Download (0.3MB) *√
First SPHS Follow-up : CHS Download (0.3MB) *√
Multiethnic Cohort Phase 3 Download (0.3MB) *√

Requesting data and/or samples

Requestors holding a primary or joint appointment in the National University of Singapore: please specify your request in this form and email it to SSHSPHDataRequest@nus.edu.sg.

All other requestors: please specify your request in this form and email it to SSHSPHDataRequest@nus.edu.sg.

Enquiries about the data, samples or the application process may also be directed to this email address: SSHSPHDataRequest@nus.edu.sg.

Request Fees

Please note that with effect from 1st April 2019, data and samples requests received be will charged an extraction fee based on the complexity of the request.

Non-Commercial Research – Requestors holding a primary or joint appointment in the National University of Singapore (see here)
Non-Commercial Research – All other requestors (see here)

Enquiries regarding this and charging for other types of research may be directed to this email address: SSHSPHDataRequest@nus.edu.sg.


Biomedical Research Council
National Healthcare Group Polyclinics
NUH Referral Laboratory
NUH Tissue Repository
SingHealth Polyclinics


From Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health:
Assistant Professor CHEN I-Cheng Mark
Professor CHIA Kee Seng
Assistant Professor CHONG Foong-Fong Mary
Associate Professor Jeannette LEE Jen Mai
Professor SAW Seang Mei
Assistant Professor SIM Xueling
Adjunct Associate Professor Mythily SUBRAMANIAM
Professor TAI E Shyong
Professor TEO Yik Ying
Professor Rob Martinus VAN DAM
Associate Professor VENKATARAMAN Kavita
Associate Professor WEE Hwee Lin
Professor WONG Tien Yin

Dr LIM Su Chi (Senior Consultant, Khoo Teck Phuat Hospital)
Dr TANG Wern Ee (Head, Clinical Research Unit, National Healthcare Group Polyclinics)
Dr Richard CHEN (National Healthcare Group Polyclinics)
Dr SIEW Wei Fong (National Healthcare Group Polyclinics)
Dr Darren SEAH Ee-Jin (National Healthcare Group Polyclinics)
Dr TAN Ngiap Chuan (Director, Research, Singhealth Polyclinics)
Dr KON Yin Chian (Senior Consultant, Tan Tock Seng Hospital)
Dr Eric KHOO Yin Hao (Consultant, National University Hospital)
Dr Adeline TAN Yit Ying (Consultant, Alexandra Hospital)
Dr Ronald LEE Chi Hang (Consultant, National University Hospital)
Associate Professor Reshma MERCHANT (Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore)
Dr LEE Chun Tsu (Senior Resident, National University Hospital)
Assistant Professor Pipin Kojodjojo (Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore)


Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
National University of Singapore
Tahir Foundation Building
12 Science Drive 2
Singapore 117549

Linda Tan
Operations Manager
E: ephtanl@nus.edu.sg

Josephine Lim
Health Screening Operations Manager
E: ephlpk@nus.edu.sg

SPHS participants who would like to reschedule their health screening appointments, please call the SPHS Hotline 6478 9608 (Mon – Fri from 8AM to 5.30PM except on Public Holidays).

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Last updated on 10 July 2021