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The Whitehall II Study was established in 1985 to investigate the importance of socioeconomic circumstances for health by following a cohort of working men and women aged 35-55 at enrolment. Participants have taken part in twelve data collection phases, seven of which have included a medical screening. The aim of the study is to understand the causes of age-related heterogeneity in health.

By combining the existing 30 years of data on social circumstances, risk factors and chronic disease with new clinical measures of cognitive function, mental disorders and physical functioning, Whitehall II has been transformed interdisciplinary study of ageing. In addition to providing insights into individual and social differences in the development of frailty, disability, dependence, and dementia, the study helps in the determination of optimal time windows and targets for interventions that maximise the potential for healthy-ageing and independent living.

The Prospective Epidemiological Risk Factor (PERF) Study is an ambidirectional population-based study of postmenopausal women set up with the purpose of obtaining a better understanding of the aetiology and pathogenesis of age-related diseases. Participants were recruited from a source population of 8875 women residing in Denmark. The baseline examination (PERF I) comprised 5855 women with mean age of 70.8 years (49.7-88.8) and took place between 1999 and 2001. All subjects have been followed up with registry linkage using population-based national registries. Further, a subcohort was re-invited to attend a follow-up visit between 2013 and 2014 (PERF II). Registry data are available for all baseline participants. From the baseline population, 2103 were enrolled in PERF II.

The Scottish Health Survey (SHeS) provides a detailed picture of the health of the Scottish population in private households and is designed to make a major contribution to the monitoring of health in Scotland.
The series aims to:
• estimate the occurrence of particular health conditions
• estimate the prevalence of certain risk factors associated with health
• look at differences between regions and between subgroups of the population
• monitor trends in the population’s health over time
• make a major contribution to monitoring progress towards health targets

The Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) is a large-scale linkage study created using data from administrative and statistical sources. These include: census data from 1991 onwards; vital events data (births, deaths, marriages); NHS Central Register data (gives information on migration into or out of Scotland); and education data (including Schools Census and SQA data).

The Maastricht Study is an extensive phenotyping study that focuses on the etiology of type 2 diabetes, its classic complications (cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, neuropathy and retinopathy), and its emerging comorbidities, including cognitive decline, depression, and gastrointestinal, respiratory and musculoskeletal diseases. The study uses advanced state-of-the-art imaging techniques and extensive biobanking to determine health status in a population-based cohort of 10,000 individuals that is enriched with type 2 diabetes participants. The Maastricht Study is expected to become one of the most extensive phenotyping studies in both the general population and type 2 diabetes participants worldwide.

The Maastricht Study allows researchers access to data to encourage publications of high quality papers and presentations. External researchers (those without an MUMC or UM affiliation) can only submit a research proposal in cooperation with a member of the Maastricht Study Management Team and/or Maastricht Study Participating researchers.

The Moli-sani study (www.moli-sani.org) is a cohort study aiming at evaluating the risk factors (environmental, genetics, bio-molecular) linked to chronic-degenerative disease with particular regard to cancer, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative disease.
The study has recruited, between March 2005 and April 2010, 24,325 people aged ³ 35 living in the Molise region, from city hall registries by a multistage sampling. Exclusion criteria were pregnancy at the time of recruitment, disturbances in understanding or willingness, current poly-traumas or coma, or refusal to sign the informed consent. Participation rate was 70%.
All subjects underwent electrocardiogram and spirometric tests aimed to evaluate pulmonary diffusion capacity, gas diffusion and pulmonary volumes through plethysmography.
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition FFQ was used to determine daily nutritional intakes consumed in the past year.
A follow-up based on linkage with hospital discharge records (SDO) and mortality regional registry was performed at December 2011 with a median of 4.3 years and at December 2014 with a median of 9.6 years. Outcomes analysed at follow-up are: mortality for any and specific causes, hospitalization and hospital stay, coronary artery disease, stroke, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, diabetes, cancer.

UK Biobank is a major national health resource, and a registered charity in its own right, with the aim of improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses – including cancer, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, eye disorders, depression and forms of dementia.

500,000 people aged between 40-69 years were recruited in 2006-2010 from across the country to take part in this project. They have undergone measures, provided blood, urine and saliva samples for future analysis, detailed information about themselves and agreed to have their health followed. The cohort is primarily followed through data linkage but the cohort was re-contacted in 2012-13 with a further 100,000 to be approached over the next few years.

This is a feasibility study which has a Longitudinal Cohort design, following up participants at selected time points over a 1 year duration. The study will recruit 2 distinct groups: (1) patients with symptoms of cognitive impairment, and (2) study partners who are cognitively normal. The patients recruited to group 1 will have been recently referred to a Memory Assessment Service by their GP with suspected Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) & mild dementia. All patients referred to a Memory Assessment Service for this reason will be potentially eligible for inclusion in the study. Close friends or family members involved in looking after the cognitively impaired participants will also be asked to participate as study partners to attempt to measure the impact that looking after a partner, friend or family member with memory problems can have on a carer’s Quality of Life and other variables such as financial burden. Both cognitively impaired participants and their study partners will be given the option of additionally participating in two sub-studies:

– Mobile data collection: Using a web/mobile app to collect self-reported data on a more regular basis from home

– Wearable device: Using a wearable device that looks like a watch to collect information on activity and sleep

For the Esprit study, 1863 non-institutionalized persons aged 65 years and over were randomly recruited in 1999 from the Montpellier district electoral rolls, and re-examined 6-times at 2-3 yearly intervals. Objectives:

1) To determine current and lifetime prevalence as well as incidence of psychiatric disorder in the elderly;
2) to determine the risk factors for these disorders, their relative weight and interactions;
3) to study clinical heterogeneity;
4) to estimate the probability of transition towards a subsyndromic state or a given pathology;
5) to elaborate predictive etiological models.

The purpose of this project is to describe changes in health and functioning among older people. Living conditions and life-style are studied as predictors of health, functioning, need of care and mortality. This multidisciplinary study includes several prospective arms. In 1988 a random sample of people aged 65-84 years were interviewed in their homes. Follow up interviews for them were conducted in 1996 and 2004. During the same years 65-69 year old people were interviewed to capture cohort changes in aging. In 1989 all men born before 1924 and every other woman living in nursing home were interviewed. In 1989 all 75-year-old and 1990 all 80-year-old residents of Jyväskylä were studied in the laboratory with extensive functional testing and clinical examinations. The 75-year-old people were followed up after 5, 10 and 15 years and the 80-year-olds after 5 and 10 years. In addition, register-based data on hospital and long-term care is being updated until the entire cohort becomes extinct. Altogether, 2500 have participated in these studies.