Dr Nicola Shelton


Personal Profile

Name: Nicola Shelton Email: n.shelton@ucl.ac.uk
Title: Dr Tel: 2076795648
Department: Epidemiology & Public Health Fax:
Position: Senior Lecturer Address: Health and Social Surveys, EPH, 1-19 Torrington Place, London, WC1E 6BT
Research Domain: Human Wellbeing, Populations & Lifelong Health Web Page: Personal Web Page


Research Description

My research is on health geography, health surveillance and the outcomes that can be measured through large and complex health data sets. Currently I have two major areas of research: firstly in health behaviours and outcomes associated with alcohol consumption and physical activity, and secondly in older people’s health and wellbeing.

In the alcohol research area I have worked on alcohol geographies examining how regional variations in drinking practises in England are associated with differences in attitude to alcohol consumption and to drunkenness. I presented this work at the House of Commons in 2010 and fed into evidence in the Health Committee Government’s Alcohol Strategy in 2012-13. I have also published BMA funded research showing the association between alcohol calories and obesity. Other work includes underreporting of alcohol consumption and the potential for overestimation of the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption in conjunction with PhD students. ESRC funded work on alcohol consumption in older people has been motivated by the Royal College of Physicians recommendations to reduce the maximum unit limits for older people and by the increase in numbers of older people who are drinking above current limits. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/arig/research/#life-transitions  Latest research working with a new PhD student is on national and regional acculturation and alcohol consumption.

In the area of physical activity I have looked at how a decline physical activity in older age is associated with retirement even after adjustment for health and obesity despite older working people citing a lack of time for exercise. Current collaborative work has been looking at how non screen sedentary behaviour is associated with low deprivation and TV watching is associated with higher deprivation. Other work has drawn together the relationship between physical activity and alcohol consumption and health and this work is now being further developed. Innovative research with a Crucible funded PhD student is looking at how developing physical active virtual field trips for school classrooms will reduce sedentary time in the classroom and may aid learning and recall. https://virtualtravellerstudy.wordpress.com/
Under the auspices of CeLSIUS I have been working on a beta test of the 2011 Census data linkage to the longitudinal study examining the geographical and employment factors which contribute to working beyond the age of 50 in 2011. This has formed part of the 2014-2017 RenEWL work programme in the ESRC Extended Working Lives Consortia of which I am a Co-Investigator. www.ucl.ac.uk/renewl

Additionally I was involved as Co-I on a methodological project involving CeLSIUS: to develop a synthetic longitudinal data which is producing software using open government license in conjunction with ONS. http://calls.ac.uk/guides-resources/synthetic-ls-data/ The latter project has delivered a desktop synthetic longitudinal data set that can be used as a teaching, training and test data set to address the necessary challenges of restrictive data access policies to Census longitudinal data.

Research Activities


Health geography

Longitudinal Study

Research on Extending Working Lives

Young people and children's health


historical epidemiology and demography

Education Description

Director of BSc in Population Health http://www.ucl.ac.uk/bsc-population-health

Module lead IEHC1001 Epidemiological Transition

Masters: Module leader and lecturer Social Epidemiology: Dimensions of Inequality

Postgraduate dissertation supervisor; postgraduate personal tutor

PhD Supervisor Principal supervisor for three PhD students and on the supervisory panel for an additional student.

UCL Collaborators

Dr Mai Stafford; Dr Ewan Carr; Prof Jenny Head; Dr Jenny Mindell; Prof Mika Kivimaki; Dr Gareth Hagger-Johnson; Dr Emily Murray; Prof Nikolaos Donos; Prof Diana Kuh; Dr Paola Zaninotto

External Collaborators



    • Coombs N, Stamatakis E, Rowlands A, Shelton NJ, Hillsdon M (2015). Objectively-assessed and self-reported sedentary time in relation to multiple socioeconomic status indicators among adults in England: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, , - .
    • Norris E, Shelton N, Dunsmuir S, Duke-Williams O, Stamatakis E (2015). Physically active lessons as physical activity and educational interventions: a systematic review of methods and results.. Prev Med, 72, 116 - 125. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.12.027
    • Gordon-Dseagu VLZ, Mindell JS, Steptoe A, Moody A, Wardle J, Demakakos P, Shelton NJ (2015). Impaired glucose metabolism among those with and without diagnosed diabetes and mortality: A cohort study using Health Survey for England data. PLoS ONE, 10(3), - . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119882
    • Norris E, Shelton N, Stamatakis E, Dunsmuir S, Duke-Williams O (2015). Virtual field trips as physically active lessons for children: A pilot study. BMC Public Health, 15(1), - . doi:10.1186/s12889-015-1706-5


    • Mindell J, Cohen D, Hayward A, Shelton N, Sutaria S, Watkins S (2014). Transport and Clinical Practice. Journal of Transport and Health, , - .
    • Boniface S, Kneale J, Shelton N (2014). Drinking pattern is more strongly associated with under-reporting of alcohol consumption than sociodemographic factors: evidence from a mixed methods study. BMC Public Health, , - . doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-1297
    • Gordon-Dseagu VLZ, Mindell J, Shelton N (2014). Glycated haemoglobin and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a cohort study utilising data from the Health Survey for England and Scottish Health Survey linked to mortality records.
    • Harhay MO, Bor J, Basu S, McKee M, Mindell JS, Shelton NJ, Stuckler D (2014). Differential impact of the economic recession on alcohol use among white British adults, 2004-2010.. Eur J Public Health, 24(3), 410 - 415. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckt134
    • Scholes S, Shelton NJ, Mindell JS, Panesar S, Francis RM, Mirza S, Donaldson LJ (2014). Epidemiology of lifetime fracture prevalence in England: A population study of adults aged 55 years and over. Age and Ageing, 43(2), 234 - 240. doi:10.1093/ageing/aft167
    • Boniface S, Kneale J, Shelton N (2014). Drinking pattern is more strongly associated with under-reporting of alcohol consumption than socio-demographic factors: Evidence from a mixed-methods study. BMC Public Health, 14(1), - . doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-1297
    • Ng Fat L, Cable N, Marmot MG, Shelton N (2014). Persistent long-standing illness and non-drinking over time, implications for the use of lifetime abstainers as a control group.. J Epidemiol Community Health, 68(1), 71 - 77. doi:10.1136/jech-2013-202576
    • Ng Fat , Cable N, Marmot M, Shelton N (2014). Are we overestimating the beneficial effects of alcohol in later life? Persistent longstanding illness and non-drinking over time.
    • Shelton NJ, Knott C (2014). The association between alcohol calorie intake and overweight and obesity in English adults. American Journal of Public Health, , - .
    • Cockings S, shelton N (2014). Spatial Epidemiology. In Cockerham WC, Dingwall R, Quah SR (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society (pp. - ). : Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Ng Fat L, Cable N, Shelton N (2014). Worsening of health and a cessation or reduction in alcohol consumption to special occasion drinking across three decades of the life-course. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, , - .
    • Gordon-Dseagu VLZ, Shelton N, Mindell J (2014). Diabetes mellitus and mortality from all-causes, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory disease: Evidence from the Health Survey for England and Scottish Health Survey cohorts. Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, 28(6), 791 - 797. doi:10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2014.06.016


    • Hagger-Johnson G, Bell S, Britton A, Cable N, Conner M, O'Connor DB, Shickle D, Shelton N, Bewick BM (2013). Cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking in a representative sample of English school pupils: cross-sectional and longitudinal associations.. Prev Med, 56(5), 304 - 308. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.02.004
    • Knott CS, Scholes S, Shelton NJ (2013). Could more than three million older people in England be at risk of alcohol-related harm? A cross-sectional analysis of proposed age-specific drinking limits.. Age Ageing, 42(5), 598 - 603. doi:10.1093/ageing/aft039
    • Soedamah-Muthu SS, De Neve M, Tielemans SMAJ, Shelton NJ, Stamatakis E (2013). Joint associations of alcohol consumption and physical activity with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. American Journal of Cardiology, 112(3), 380 - 386. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2013.03.040
    • Shelton NJ (2013). Older women's health. In Bamford S-M, Watson. J (Ed.), Has the Sisterhood forgotten older women? (pp. - ). : ICL-UK.
    • Flint E, Bartley M, Shelton N, Sacker A (2013). Do labour market status transitions predict changes in psychological well-being?. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, , - . doi:10.1136/jech-2013-202425
    • Boniface S, Shelton N (2013). How is alcohol consumption affected if we account for under-reporting? A hypothetical scenario.. Eur J Public Health, 23(6), 1076 - 1081. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckt016
    • Gordon-Dseagu VLZ, Shelton N, Mindell J (2013). Diabetes, overweight/obesity and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: evidence from the health survey for England and Scottish Health Survey linked to mortality data. DIABETIC MEDICINE, 30, 136 - 136.
    • Gordon-Dseagu VLZ, Shelton N, Mindell JS (2013). Epidemiological evidence of a relationship between type-1 diabetes mellitus and cancer: A review of the existing literature. International Journal of Cancer, 132(3), 501 - 508. doi:10.1002/ijc.27703
    • Flint E, Shelton N, Bartley M, Sacker A (2013). Do local unemployment rates modify the effect of individual labour market status on psychological distress?. Health Place, 23, 1 - 8. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2013.04.004
    • Boniface S, Kneale J, Shelton NJ (2013). Alcohol related factors may be more associated with under-reporting of alcohol consumption than socio-demographic factors: evidence from a mixed-methods study. BMC Public Health, 37(6), - .
    • Coombs N, Shelton N, Stamatakis E, Rowlands A (2013). Children's and adolescents' sedentary behaviour in relation to socioeconomic position. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 67(10), 868 - 874. doi:10.1136/jech-2013-202609


    • Boniface S, Kneale J, Shelton N (2012). Actual and perceived units of alcohol in a self-defined “usual glass” of alcoholic drinks in England. Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research, Epub ahead of print, - . doi:10.1111/acer.12046
    • Ng Fat L, Shelton N (2012). Associations between self-reported illness and non-drinking in young adults.. Addiction, 107(9), 1612 - 1620. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03878.x
    • Mindell J, Biddulph JP, Hirani V, Stamatakis E, Craig R, Nunn S, Shelton N (2012). Cohort profile: the health survey for England.. Int J Epidemiol, 41(6), 1585 - 1593. doi:10.1093/ije/dyr199
    • Mindell J, Shelton N, Roth M, Chaudhury M, Falschetti E (2012). Persistent regional variation in treatment of hypertension. Public Health, , - . doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2012.01.008


    • Shelton N (2011). Post-Partum Depression. In Stange MZ, Oyster C K G, J G (Ed.), The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World (pp. - ). : .
    • Shelton NJ, Gharib W, Tabassum F, Roth M, Jones H (2011). LIFESTYLE BEHAVIOURS. In Bromley C, Mindell J (Ed.), The Scottish Health Survey: Topic Report: Older People's Health (pp. - ). : .
    • SHELTON NJ, Savell E (2011). The geography of binge drinking: the role of alcohol-related knowledge, behaviours and attitudes. Results from the Health Survey for England 2007. Health and Place, 17(3), 784 - 792. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.02.004
    • Watkins S, Mindell J, Cohen J, Hayward A, Shelton NJ (2011). Transport and Clinical Practice. In Mindell JS, Watkins S, Cohen J (Ed.), Health on the Move 2. Policies for health-promoting transport (pp. - ). : Transport & Health Study Group.


    • IBG RGS (2010). Consumption controversies: Alcohol policies in the UK..
    • Bromley C, Shelton N (2010). The Scottish Health Survey: Topic Report UK Comparisons.
    • Chaudhury M, Shelton N (2010). Physical activity among 60-69-year-olds in England: knowledge, perception, behaviour and risk factors. AGEING SOC, 30, 1343 - 1355. doi:10.1017/S0144686X10000486
    • Aresu M, Gordon-Dseagu V, Shelton N (2010). Diabetes and HbA1c. In Craig R, Hirani V (Ed.), The Health Survey for England 2009 (pp. - ). : .
    • Shelton N, Mindell J (2010). Measuring Health. In Bulmer M, Gibbs J, Hyman L (Ed.), Social Measurement through Social Surveys: An Applied Approach (pp. - ). : Ashgate Publishing.
    • Mindell J, Shelton N, Roth M, Chaudhury M, Falaschetti E (2010). PERSISTENT REGIONAL VARIATION IN TREATMENT OF HYPERTENSION. J EPIDEMIOL COMMUN H, 64, A55 - A56. doi:10.1136/jech.2010.120477.57


    • Shelton NJ, Herrick KG (2009). Comparison of scoring methods and thresholds of the General Health Questionnaire-12 with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale in English women.. Public Health, 123(12), 789 - 793. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2009.09.012
    • Shelton NJ (2009). Regional risk factors for health inequalities in Scotland and England and the "Scottish effect".. Soc Sci Med, 69(5), 761 - 767. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.06.044


    • Shelton N (2008). Diabetes. In Craig R, Mindell J (Ed.), The Health Survey for England 2006. TSO London. (pp. - ). : .
    • (2008). The Health Survey for England 2007..
    • Renfrew M, Hay A, Shelton N, Law G, Madden S, Sutcliffe S, Woolridge M (2008). Assessing levels of contaminants in breastmilk – methodological issues and a framework for future research. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 22(1), 72 - 86.
    • Stafford M, Duke-Williams O, Shelton N (2008). Area inequalities in health: are we underestimating them?. Social Science and Medicine, 67, 891 - 899.
    • Donaldson LJ, Reckless IP, Scholes S, Mindell JS, Shelton NJ (2008). The epidemiology of fractures in England. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 62(2), 174 - 180. doi:10.1136/jech.2006.056622


    • Garrett E, Galley C, Shelton N (2006). Introduction. In Garrett E, Galley C, Shelton N, Woods RI (Ed.), Infant Mortality: a Continuing Social (pp. - ). : Ashgate.
    • Shelton N (2006). Infant Mortality: a Continuing Social Problem.
    • Shelton N (2006). Conclusion: The social dimension of infant well-being. In Garrett E, Galley C, Shelton N, Woods RI (Ed.), Infant Mortality: a Continuing Social (pp. - ). : Ashgate.
    • Shelton NJ, Birkin MH, Dorling D (2006). Where not to live: a geo-demographic classification of mortality for England and Wales, 1981-2000.. Health Place, 12(4), 557 - 569. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2005.08.012


    • Zaninotto P, Shelton N, Primatesta P (2005). Cardiovascular Disease and Associated factors. In Bromley C, Sproston K, Shelton N (Ed.), The Scottish Health Survey 2003 (pp. 1 - 54). : Astron.
    • (2005). The Scottish Health Survey 2003.
    • Shelton N (2005). The future for new geographers. Area, 37(1), 110 - 114.
    • Herrick K, Shelton N, Kelly Y (2005). Respiratory Health and Lung Function. In Bromely C, Sproston K, Shelton N (Ed.), The Scottish Health Survey 2003 (pp. 189 - 222). : Scottish Executive.
    • Shelton N (2005). Infant measurements and breastfeeding. In Bromley C, Sproston K, Shelton N (Ed.), The Scottish Health Survey 2003 (pp. 253 - 264). : Scottish Executive.
    • Shelton N (2005). Diabetes. In Bromley C, Sproston K, Shelton N (Ed.), The Scottish Health Survey 2003 (pp. 354 - 372). : Scottish Execeutive.
    • Shelton NJ (2005). What not to eat: inequalities in healthy eating behaviour, evidence from the 1998 Scottish Health Survey.. J Public Health (Oxf), 27(1), 36 - 44. doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdh191


    • Shelton N (2004). Response to Johnston and Pattie: on the consequences of the delays in publication for fixed-term staff. Area, 36(3), 323 - 324.
    • Shelton N (2004). The role of local Medical Officer of Health in influencing the levels of childhood mortality in late Victorian Devon and Cornwall. In Breschi M, Pozzi L (Ed.), The Determinants of Infant and Child Mortality in Past European Populations (pp. - ). : Forum.
    • Shelton N (2004). Diabetes. In Sproston K, Primatesta P (Ed.), The Health Survey for England 2003 (pp. - ). : The Stationery Office.


    • Shelton N (2003). Rising life expectancy: A global history.. POP STUD-J DEMOG, 57(2), 234 - 236.
    • Ni Laoire C, Shelton N (2003). Contracted out: Some implications of the casualisation of academic labour in Geography. Area, 35(1), 92 - 100.


    • Woods R, Shelton N (2002). Life and death in the later nineteenth century. In Philips A, Phillips C (Ed.), A New Historical Atlas of Cheshire (pp. 50 - 51). : Chester County Council and Chester Community Council Publicatio.


    • Shelton N, Grundy E (2000). Proximity of adult children to their parents in Great Britain. International Journal of Population Geography, 6, 1 - 15.
    • Woods R, Shelton N (2000). Disease Environments in Victorian England and Wales. Historical Methods, 3, 73 - 82.
    • Shelton NJ (2000). Childhood mortality and the public health response in Victorian and Edwardian Devon and Cornwall.


    • Grundy E, Murphy M, Shelton N (1999). Looking beyond the household: intergenerational perspectives on living kin and contacts with kin in Great Britain. Population Trends, , 19 - 27.


    • Woods R, Shelton N (1997). An atlas of Victorian mortality.

    • Shelton NJ, Mindell J (). Regional variation in treatment: the London effect. Primary Care Cardiovascular Journal, , - .