FIELD: LONG Privacy Notice

Privacy Notice for FIELD: Late Outcomes and NeuroradioloGy (FIELD: LONG)

The University of Glasgow will be the ‘Data Controller’ of personal data processed in relation to this study, which is performed in the public interest. This privacy notice will explain how the University of Glasgow will process your personal data.  

Study background 

Football’s InfluencE on Lifelong health and Dementia risk (FIELD), provided first comprehensive insight into the issue of neurodegenerative disease within football, showing that former professional footballers are at high risk of neurodegenerative mortality, ranging from an approximately doubling of deaths with Parkinson’s disease to a 5-fold increase in deaths with Alzheimer’s dementia.  

We will now undertake a follow on study; FIELD: Late Outcomes and NeuroradioloGy (FIELD:LONG), which will begin in 2021. Whereby, death certification, and a variety of health record data, for Scottish former professional footballers, born prior to 31/12/1990, will be utilised, and compared with individuals from the general population. This will enable further insight into neurodegenerative disease risk and other long-term health outcomes in this population. Furthermore, this study also seeks to utilise brain scan images, in order to gain further information regarding brain structural changes in footballers.  

The specific aims of FIELD:LONG are to: 

Aim 1: Compare the incidence of neurodegenerative disease, including dementia, in former professional footballers to a matched general population comparison group. 

Aim 2: Compare the incidence of chronic physical and mental health conditions in former professional footballers to a matched general population comparison group.   

Aim 3: Compare all-cause and disease-specific mortality in former professional footballers to a matched general population comparison group.   

Aim 4: Compare the data generated in Aims 1-3 from former professional footballers to equivalent data in a sample of former athletes from a high contact sport (international rugby). 

Aim 5: interrogate archived diagnostic imaging studies for specific brain structural abnormalities that might distinguish footballers from non-footballers with dementia and might have diagnostic utility. 

FIELD:LONG is supported after application to the Footballers Association (FA), and Professional Footballers Association (PFA), for extension funding to pursue additional outcomes data and this neuroimaging elaboration. Approvals have been obtained from the University of Glasgow College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences Research Ethics Committee  

Why we need your data 

We are collecting data from Public Health Scotland, such as hospital admission, and death certification data, in order to better inform on neurodegenerative risk in former professional footballers. We will also be accessing magnetic resonance (MR) and computerised tomography (CT) brain scan images. We will be collecting this data for former professional footballers, former international rugby players, and also for individuals in the general population – to be used as a comparison group.  

Legal basis for processing your data 

Approximately 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia, with an annual cost to society of £26billion. Identifying possible risk factors for dementia and acting to reduce these risks is a top public health priority. The processing of this data is thus, necessary to perform a task in the public interest, and is of substantial public interest. The outcomes of this work may also be used by sport and public health agencies to inform on sport participation and engagement, including rule change to protect the health of contact sport athletes, if necessary.     

What we do with the data and who we share it with 

All data is anonymised to researchers, and will be analysed by members of the FIELD study group, in the United Kingdom. 

How long we keep data for 

Data will be retained for 10 years. After this time, data will be securely deleted. 

Further information 

If you require further information about this study, or how we process personal data, please email; 


Should you wish to exercise your data rights and raise a complaint regarding our use of personal data in this study, you can contact the University of Glasgow Data Protection Office, who will investigate the matter. The Data Protection Office can be contacted at: ‘’.