UCL News


Initial findings of first comprehensive study into ageing process published

2 December 2003

The initial findings of the first ever comprehensive study into the economic, social, psychological and health elements of the ageing process in Europe will be published on Thursday 4th December.

The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) will be launched at a briefing at 5.30pm on Thursday 4th December at the Royal College of Physicians, Regent's Park, London NW1. Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the International Centre for Health and Society at UCL, will be available for interviews ahead of the launch, from 4pm.

The study will reveal a clear link between the health and well-being of older people and their economic and social position. Over 12,000 people aged 50 and over were interviewed for the study, a collaboration between UCL, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the National Centre for Social Research and Cambridge University. Follow-up interviews to be conducted every two years will track the progress of all interviewees.

ELSA has important implications for policy-makers, but is also of much wider interest for the picture it paints of inequality in health, wealth, social participation and labour market activity amongst the older population.

Professor Marmot said: "This study is tackling one of the most important research questions currently facing society: how do we provide for an ageing population? By investigating the relationships between health, economic position and social participation as people age we will be able to answer that question in a complete way, taking into account how older people live today, what inequalities exist in old age and what is necessary to provide for a good lifestyle."

Notes to editors:

  1. For further information, and to arrange interviews with Professor Marmot, please contact Alex Brew (0207 679 9726 or a.brew@ucl.ac.uk) in the UCL Media Relations Office.
  2. 'Health, wealth and lifestyles of the older population in England: the 2002 English longitudinal study of ageing', edited by Michael Marmot, James Banks, Richard Blundell, Carli Lessof and James Nazroo, is available from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, 7 Ridgmount Street, London WC1E 7AE. The report is priced at £35.
  3. The design and collection of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing were carried out as a collaboration between the International Centre for Health and Society at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the National Centre for Social Research and the Institute for Public Health and Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge.