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Cohort Acronym

Cohort type
General population-based cohort


Participant type
No diagnosis

Recruitment Period 2013 - present 
Sample size at start or planned sample size if still recruiting 8,500  
Estimated Current Sample Size 5,000 to 9,999 
Age at Recruitment >50   
Gender Male and Female 

The Northern Ireland Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Ageing (NICOLA) is a large-scale, public health study involving a representative sample of men and women aged 50 years and over living in Northern Ireland.

The primary objective of NICOLA is to collect longitudinal multidisciplinary data across a wide range of domains to be used for investigation and research relevant to ageing and making Northern Ireland a better place to grow old in.

NICOLA collects extensive information on all aspects of health, social and economic circumstances of ~8500 men and women as they grow older in Northern Ireland over a series of data collection waves approximately every 2-3 years.

Longer term research goals will investigate the determinants of retirement behaviour and economic wellbeing, the impact of cognitive function and sensory disability on decision making, the determinants of disability trajectories, the influence of social participation on these and the interaction of genetic, biological and psychosocial determinants on health and mortality.

There has been one sweep of data collection (2013 – 2016) and a second is currently underway (2017 – )

Country United Kingdom 
Contact details
Institution name Queens University Belfast 
Website http://nicola.qub.ac.uk/ 
Principal Investiator (PI) Frank Kee 
Contact email [email protected] 
Contact phone number 2890978926 
Address NICOLA study
Centre for Public Health
Queens University Belfast
Institute of Clinical Sciences Block B
Grosvenor Road
Belfast, BT12 6BJ 
Funders (Core support) Atlantic Philanthropies
Economic and Social Research Council
OFMDFM (Northern Ireland Government)

Variables Collected

Brain related measures: N/A
Funtional rating: Individual psychological
Anthropometric: Blood pressure, Height, Hip circumference, Waist circumference, Weight
Physical: Cardiovascular, Hearing and Vision, Respiratory
Biological samples: Blood, Urine
Genotyping: Gene screening
Brain imaging: N/A
Brain banking: N/A
Lifestyle: Alcohol, Dietary habits, Physical activity, Smoking
Socio-economic: Education, Ethnic group, Family circumstances, Housing and accommodation, Income and finances, Informal support, Marital status, Occupation and employment, Unpaid care
Health service utilisation: N/A
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