This application is for competitive funding of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) for the period 2010 - 2014. ELSA started in 2002 as a sister study to the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) in the United States, and recruited 12,100 men and women aged 50 and above who were representative of the older population of England. ELSA has been part-funded by NIA since it began, with half of the funding coming from a consortium of UK Government Departments. This renewal request is to fund two waves of data collection - wave 5 (2010/11) and wave 6 (2012/13) - and associated analyses. The central objective is to provide data necessary for the exploration of the unfolding dynamic relationships between health and functioning, economic position, social participation/networks and well-being, as people plan for, move into and progress beyond retirement. ELSA is a multidisciplinary study, involving the collection of economic, epidemiological, health, social, psychological, physiological and genetic data. The phase of data collection planned in this application will greatly increase the potential for longitudinal analyses so as to examine causal process. The scientific agenda of this application is focused on eight broad research topics that are important scientifically while also being relevant to policy. These are the nature and timing of retirement and post retirement labour market activity;the determinants of economic well-being in older age;cognitive functioning and its impact on decision making among older people;disability and the compression of morbidity;economic, social and health inequalities in an ageing population;social participation and social productivity at older ages;the interaction between genetic, biological, and psychosocial determinants of health and mortality;and comparisons of trajectories of health, economic position and well-being at older ages in England and the USA. The specific objectives of this proposal include the following: 1. Design the survey instruments for further waves of data collection, building on the existing data and maximizing comparability with other international studies, such as HRS and the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). 2. Recruit a new cohort of respondents aged 50-53, at wave 5, in order to maintain cross-sectional representativeness and to study social and cross-cohort trends. 3. Interview approximately 8,400 respondents at wave 5 and 7400 respondents at wave 6. 4. Collect biomedical and physical performance data from respondents at wave 6. 5. Provide seven waves of well-documented panel data to the scientific and policy research community. 6. Carry out analyses of the ELSA data relevant to the core research themes.

Public Health Relevance

Aging is a major concern to public health, and longitudinal data from a large sample of aging men and women helps us understand the evolution of disability, illness and healthy aging. The multidisciplinary English Longitudinal Study of Ageing collects information about the interrelationships between health and disability, economic position, social participation, cognitive function and well-being that is relevant both to policy and scientific agendas. International comparisons between the dynamics of aging in the US, UK and other countries allow institutional and cultural influences to be examined, providing opportunities for testing the impact of policies and organisational structures.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Social Sciences and Population Studies Study Section (SSPS)
Program Officer
Patmios, Georgeanne E
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University College London
United Kingdom
Zip Code
WC1 -6BT
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