Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)


ELSA is large, nationally representative study using a panel of individuals aged 50 years and over. ELSA is aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the physical, psychological, social and economic aspects of ageing. The first wave of ELSA was carried out in 2002 and over 12,000 core sample members and their partners were interviewed during this wave. Participants are interviewed every two years and a nurse visit is carried out at every other wave. 

ELSA is jointly funded by the US National Institute of Ageing and by the UK Department of Health, Department of Work and Pensions, Office for National Statistics, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Department for Transport, HMRC, and Communities and Local Government. For more information on the ELSA study, visit the ELSA website

Research in the Psychobiology Group using ELSA data focuses on determinants of multiple health behaviours, changes in behaviours over time and the association between inflammatory markers and physical and mental health. Data analysis is ongoing with current funding ensured until March 2022.

A substudy of ELSA, the Healthy Cognitive Ageing Project (ELSA-HCAP), is also underway and involves researchers within the Psychobiology Group. 

Principal Investigator: Professor Andrew Steptoe 

ELSA Project Manager: Kate Coughlin (k.coughlin@ucl.ac.uk)

Collaborators: Institute for Fiscal Studies, National Centre for Social Research and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge