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Cohort Acronym

Cohort type
General population-based cohort

Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease

Participant type
No diagnosis

Recruitment Period 2002-03 
Sample size at start or planned sample size if still recruiting 12099  
Estimated Current Sample Size 10,000 to 19,999 
Age at Recruitment >50   
Gender Male and Female 

The primary objective of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) is to collect longitudinal multidisciplinary data from a representative sample of the English population aged 50 and older. It began in 2002 and recruited over 12,000 people.

The study collects both objective and subjective data relating to health and disability, biological markers of disease, economic circumstance, social participation, networks and well-being. ELSA aims to measure outcomes across a wide range of domains and to provide high-quality multidisciplinary data that can shed light on the causes and consequences of outcomes of interest.

There have been seven sweeps of data collection 2002-03, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-2013, 2014-2015 and an eighth sweep (2016-2017) is currently underway.

The survey data are designed to be used for the investigation of a broad set of topics relevant to understanding the ageing process. These include:

  • health trajectories, disability and healthy life expectancy;
  • the determinants of economic position in older age;
  • the links between economic position, physical health, cognition and mental health;
  • the nature and timing of retirement and post-retirement labour market activity;
  • household and family structure, social networks and social supports;
  • patterns, determinants and consequences of social, civic and cultural participation;
  • predictors of well-being.

ELSA is part of the Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), a multi-million pound public-private partnership to accelerate progress in dementias research.

Last update: 13/01/2017

Country United Kingdom 
Contact details
Institution name University College, London 
Principal Investiator (PI) Professor Andrew Steptoe 
Contact email [email protected] 
Contact phone number +44 (0)20 7679 1656 
Address Nina Rogers
ELSA Project Manager
Dept. of Epidemiology & Public Health
University College London
1-19 Torrington Place
Funders (Core support) UK Government Consortium (Department for Communities and Local Government, Department for Transport, Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, Office for National Statistics, Department of Health, Office for National Statistics)
National Institute on Aging (NIH) 

Variables Collected

Brain related measures: Cognitive function, Mental health, Neurological
Funtional rating: Individual physiological, Individual psychological
Anthropometric: Blood pressure, Height, Waist circumference, Weight
Physical: Cardiovascular, Hearing and Vision, Musculoskeletal, Reproductive, Respiratory
Biological samples: Blood, Other, Saliva
Genotyping: N/A
Brain imaging: N/A
Brain banking: N/A
Lifestyle: Alcohol, Dietary habits, Physical activity, Smoking
Socio-economic: Education, Ethnic group, Marital status, Occupation and employment
Health service utilisation: N/A
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