The British Regional Heart Study (BRHS) is a prospective study in middle-aged men drawn from general practices in 24 British towns, 7,735 men were recruited in 1978-1980. It was set up to determine the factors responsible for the considerable variation in coronary heart disease, hypertension and stroke in Great Britain. It also seeks to determine the causes of these conditions in order to provide a rational basis for recommendations towards their prevention.

Following the collection of baseline date in 1978-80 the cohort has been followed up through the participants, two-yearly GP Record Reviews, and the Office of Population and Census Surveys. Participants have been re-contacted through questionnaires or assessment in 1983-85, 1992, 1996, 1998-2000, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2010-2012, 2014, 2015, 2016.

Last update – 21/02/2017

The Belgian Ageing Studies project (BAS) was developed by researchers at the Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and University College Ghent (Hogeschool Gent). Established in the early 2000s, the BAS team engages in the scientific study of the social aspects of ageing.

The aim of the research programme of the Belgian Ageing Studies is to:

  1. Provide an instrument to measure the living conditions and quality of life of older people in Belgian municipalities.
  2. Promote evidence-based policy at the local level by providing input and mobilizing knowledge for planning and inclusive policy programmes.
  3. Support the process of creating age-friendly communities.
  4. Examine trends in particular municipalities by conducting follow-up studies.

Last update – 28/02/2017

The Three-City Study (3C Study) is a population-based longitudinal study of the relation between vascular diseases and dementia in persons aged 65 years and older. A total of 9,294 participants (3,649 men and 5,645 women) were recruited from three French cities: Bordeaux (2,104), Dijon (4,931) and Montpellier (2,259).

The principal objective is to estimate the risk of dementia (Alzheimer’s disease and other types) that may be attributed to vascular factors.

In follow up 1 and 2 (2001-2004) participants were interviewed and subjected to physical and cognitive testing. In follow up 3 (2005-2012) participants completed a postal questionnaire. The third, fourth, and fith waves of follow-up examinations started in 2006 and finished in 2012. A sixth follow-up is ongoing.

Last update – 03/02/2017

The first wave of the MIDUS study collected survey data from a total of 7,108 participants. The baseline sample was comprised of individuals from four subsamples:

  1. a national RDD (random digit dialing) sample (n=3,487);
  2. oversamples from five metropolitan areas in the U.S. (n=757)
  3. siblings of individuals from the RDD sample (n=950); and (4) a national RDD sample of twin pairs (n=1,914).

All eligible participants were non-institutionalized, English-speaking adults in the coterminous United States, aged 25 to 74. Data from the above samples were collected primarily in 1995/96.

Last update – 03/02/2017

The major goals of this prospective cohort study of a randomly selected community sample are to: establish the prevalence and genetic, metabolic and environmental determinants of psychiatric disorders, cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in the general population of the city of Lausanne; assess the mechanisms of the association between psychiatric disorders and CVRF / CVD.
Additional scientific questions focus on:

  • the identification of risk factors for the incidence and course of CVRF and psychiatric disorders;
    the identification of risk factors for cognitive impairment;
  • the testing of novel biological marker candidates and the incidence or course of CVRF/CVD or psychiatric disorders;
  • the testing of associations between brain anatomy patterns and CVRF and psychiatric disorders.

Last update: 19/12/2016

The PATH Through Life project is a 20 year longitudinal cohort study of 7,485 young (aged 20-24 at baseline), midlife (aged 40-44 at baseline) and older (aged 60-64 at baseline) adults randomly sampled from the electoral roll of the Australian Capital Territory and the nearby city of Queanbeyan.
The original aims of the project are outlined below.

  • To delineate the course of depression, anxiety, substance use and cognitive ability with increasing age across the adult life span.
  • To identify environmental risk, genetic risk and protective factors influencing individual differences in the course of these characteristics.
  • To investigate interrelationships over time between the three domains of: depression and anxiety, substance use, and cognitive ability and dementia.
  • Data collection has occurred at four intervals (4 waves), at approximately four year intervals with a good participant retention rate. The fifth wave of data collection is commencing in 2017.
    Several design features of the PATH project contribute to its unique standing among population based longitudinal cohort studies.
  • Obtaining measures of genetic, biological (including MRI), psychosocial and lifestyle risk and protective factors for mental health and wellbeing.
  • Use of a narrow age cohort design with longitudinal follow ups as an optimal means of separating age and cohort effects.
  • Assessment of participants across the full adult lifespan, permitting investigation of developmentally significant, but under studied periods such as midlife
  • Recruitment and follow up of a young-old population, providing important pre-clinical data for studying the development of age related changes in memory and cognition.

Last update – 12/01/2017

The Busselton Healthy Ageing Study aims to enhance understanding of ageing by relating the clustering and interactions of common chronic conditions in adults to function. Phase I (recruitment) is a cross-sectional community-based prospective cohort study involving 5,107 ‘Baby Boomers’ (born from 1946 to 1964) living in the Busselton Shire, Western Australia. The study protocol involves a detailed, self-administered health and risk factor questionnaire and a range of physical assessments including body composition and bone density measurements, cardiovascular profiling (blood pressure, ECG and brachial pulse wave velocity), retinal photography, tonometry, auto-refraction, spirometry and bronchodilator responsiveness, skin allergy prick tests, sleep apnoea screening, tympanometry and audiometry, grip strength, mobility, balance and leg extensor strength. Cognitive function and reserve, semantic memory, and pre-morbid intelligence are assessed. Phase 2 (longitudinal, 6 year follow-up) commenced in 2016.

Last update: 25/01/2017

The NSHD has informed UK health care, education and social policy for more than 70 years and is the oldest and longest running of the British birth cohort studies. Today, with study members in their seventies, the NSHD offers a unique opportunity to explore the long-term biological and social processes of ageing and how ageing is affected by factors acting across the whole of life. From an initial maternity survey of 13,687 of all births recorded in England, Scotland and Wales during one week of March, 1946, a socially stratified sample of 5,362 singleton babies born to married parents was selected for follow-up. This sample comprises the NSHD cohort and participants have been studied 24 times throughout their life.

During their childhood, the main aim of the NSHD was to investigate how the environment at home and at school affected physical and mental development and educational attainment. During adulthood, the main aim was to investigate how childhood health and development and lifetime social circumstances affected their adult health and function and how these change with age.

Now, as participants reach retirement, the research team is developing the NSHD into a life course study of ageing. Study members completed a postal questionnaire in 2014 and participated in a home visit in 2015/16, where data on health, lifestyle and life circumstances as well as obtaining repeat physical and cognitive measurements were collected. Over the past two years, a subset of 500 study members were invited to participate in a neuroimaging sub-study and over the next two years they will be recalled for a follow-up. This study will be conducted in collaboration with the Institute of Neurology, UCL.

NSHD is part of CLOSER (Cohort & Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources) which aims to maximise the use, value and impact of the UK’s longitudinal studies.
NSHD is part of the Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), a multi-million pound public-private partnership to accelerate progress in dementias research

Last update: 19/12/2016

CFAS II based in England and Wales started in 2008, and builds on the design and infrastructure of original CFAS. It has provided data on generational and geographical differences including people in institutions. It will also provide important base-line information on older people aged 65-84 in 2007-2008 who will reach the age of greatest frailty during the 2020s when the peak in the number of people aged 85 or over is expected and at a time when major therapeutic interventions for dementia could be expected to have an effect. Participants were followed up by interview throughout 2010-2011.

CFAS II 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