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Determinants of healthy ageing in the Whitehall II study

In order to reduce the population burden of disease and disability at older ages a better understanding of determinants of healthy ageing is needed.  To address this research challenge, Professor Mika Kivimaki of University College London has set 3 key objectives for his fellowship:

  1. To determine the extent to which cognitive reserve, and changing behaviours and psychosocial factors (physical activity, diet, social engagement) across the adult life course contribute to the risk of later life depression, cognitive impairment, and disability.
  2. To understand the biological characteristics underlying these relationships, with particular focus on adulthood vascular, metabolic and inflammatory factors.
  3. To evaluate population-level impacts of the identified key determinants of healthy ageing.

Kivimaki leads a research team working on the prestigious Whitehall II study of 10,308 British men and women aged 35-55 at study inception in 1985. With repeat measurement of biological, behavioural and social risk and protective factors from midlife to old age, this study provides a unique source of information on healthy ageing. To examine generalisability of the findings from Whitehall II, Kivimaki’s group run replication analyses using ‘IPD-Work’ consortium data from sixteen European studies, on which he is principle investigator.

  • Outputs (66)