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Covid-19 reports and publications

The ELSA team have produced reports using the Covid-19 Substudy data from the first wave of data collection, which took place in June-July 2020 and also the second wave of data collection, which took place in November-December 2020. 


The reports cover the economic, health and social domains of ELSA and are available to download along with the methodological report via the links below.


Wave 2 reports (November-December 2020 data collection)


Differences in subjective and objective social isolation and subjective loneliness before and during the Covid-19 pandemic

Multimorbidity, access to services and diagnosis of new health conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic

The effect of the pandemic on expected retirement resources


Wave 1 reports (June-July 2020 data collection) 

Changes in older people’s experiences of providing care and of volunteering during the Covid-19 pandemic

The experience of older people with multimorbidity during the Covid-19 pandemic


The experience of older people instructed to shield or self-isolate during the Covid-19 pandemic

Methodology report:
Adapting fieldwork during the Covid-19 outbreak


Financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic for older people



The ELSA Covid-19 Substudy data are available to download via the UK Data Service

As such, scientific papers have already been published as detailed below. We will update this page with publications that use the ELSA Covid-19 data.


If you have used the data and cannot see your paper listed here, please tell us.

1.  Demakakos P. Importance of population-based longitudinal studies to understanding the impact of COVID-19. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2021. DOI:10.1136/jech-2021-217114

2.  Di Gessa G, Price D. Changes in health and social well-being in the COVID-19 clinically vulnerable older English population during the pandemic. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2021. DOI:10.1136/jech-2021-216405

3.  Rutland-Lawes J, Wallinheimo AS, Evans SL. Risk factors for depression during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal study in middle-aged and older adults. BJPsych Open. 2021;7(5):e161. DOI:10.1192/bjo.2021.997

4.  Steptoe A, Di Gessa G. Mental health and social interactions of older people with physical disabilities in England during the COVID-19 pandemic: a longitudinal cohort study. Lancet Public Health. 2021. DOI:10.1016/s2468-2667(21)00069-4

5.  Wallinheimo AS, Evans SL. More Frequent Internet Use during the COVID-19 Pandemic Associates with Enhanced Quality of Life and Lower Depression Scores in Middle-Aged and Older Adults. Healthcare (Basel). 2021;9(4). DOI:10.3390/healthcare9040393

6.  Di Gessa G, Maddock J, Green MJ, Thompson EJ, McElroy E, Davies HL, et al. Pre-pandemic mental health and disruptions to healthcare, economic and housing outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from 12 UK longitudinal studies. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 2021:1-10. DOI:10.1192/bjp.2021.132

7. Hamilton OS, Cadar D, Steptoe A. Systemic inflammation and emotional responses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Transl Psychiatry. 2021;11(1):626. DOI:10.1038/s41398-021-01753-5 

8. Zaninotto P, Iob E, Demakakos P, Steptoe A. Immediate and Longer-Term Changes in the Mental Health and Well-being of Older Adults in England During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA Psychiatry. 2022;79(2):151-9. DOI:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021

9. Wallinheimo AS, Evans SL. Patterns of Internet Use, and Associations with Loneliness, amongst Middle-Aged and Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Healthcare (Basel). 2022;10(7). DOI:10.3390/healthcare10071179

10. Qin M, Evandrou M, Falkingham J, Vlachantoni A. Did the Socio-Economic Gradient in Depression in Later-Life Deteriorate or Weaken during the COVID-19 Pandemic? New Evidence from England Using Path Analysis. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19(11). DOI:10.3390/ijerph19116700

11. Iob E, Steptoe A, Zaninotto P. Mental health, financial, and social outcomes among older adults with probable COVID-19 infection: A longitudinal cohort study. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022;119(27):e2200816119. DOI:10.1073/pnas.2200816119

12. Gaggero A, Fernández-Pérez Á, Jiménez-Rubio D. Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on depression in older adults: A panel data analysis. Health Policy. 2022. DOI:10.1016/j.healthpol.2022.07.001


13. Gaggero A. The Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Smoking Behaviour: Evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Nicotine Tob Res. 2022. DOI:10.1093/ntr/ntac097

14. Di Gessa G, Price D. The impact of shielding during the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health: evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Br J Psychiatry. 2022:1-7. DOI:10.1192/bjp.2022.44

15. Curran E, Rosato M, Ferry F, Leavey G. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Psychiatric Symptoms Among Older People in England During the COVID-19 Pandemic: a Latent Class Analysis. Int J Ment Health Addict. 2022:1-13. DOI:10.1007/s11469-022-00820-2

16. Chen S, Jones LA, Jiang S, Jin H, Dong D, Chen X, et al. Difficulty and help with activities of daily living among older adults living alone during the COVID-19 pandemic: a multi-country population-based study. BMC Geriatr. 2022;22(1):181. DOI:10.1186/s12877-022-02799-w 

Maddock, J., Parsons, S., Di Gessa, G., Green, M.J., Thompson, E.J., Stevenson, A.J., Kwong, A.S., McElroy, E., Santorelli, G., Silverwood, R.J., Captur, G., Chaturvedi, N., Steves, C.J., Steptoe, A., Patalay, P., Ploubidis, G.B., Katikireddi, S.V. Inequalities in healthcare disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from 12 UK population-based longitudinal studies. BMJ Open. 2022. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2022-064981


18. Taylor, K.S., Steptoe, A., Iob, E. The relationship of adverse childhood experiences, hair cortisol, C-reactive protein, and polygenic susceptibility with older adults' psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mol Psychiatry. 2022.



19. Thompson, E.J., Stafford, J., Moltrecht, B., Huggins, C.F., Kwong, A.S.F., Shaw, R.J., Zaninotto, P., Patel, K., Silverwood, R.J., McElroy, E., Pierce, M., Green, M.J., Bowyer, R.C.E., Maddock, J., Tilling, K., Katikireddi, S.V., Ploubidis, G.B., Porteous, D.J., Timpson, N., Chaturvedi, N., Steves, C.J., Patalay, P. Psychological distress, depression, anxiety, and life satisfaction following COVID-19 infection: evidence from 11 UK longitudinal population studies. Lancet Psychiatry. 2022



20. Green, M.J., Maddock, J., Di Gessa, G., Wielgoszewska, B., Parsons, S., Griffith, G.J., Croft, J., Stevenson, A.J., Huggins, C.F., Booth, C., Wels, J., Silverwood, R.J., Patalay, P., Hughes, A.D., Chaturvedi, N., Howe, L.D., Fitzsimons, E., Katikireddi, S.V., Ploubidis, G.B. The UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and smoking, alcohol consumption and vaping during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from eight longitudinal population surveys. BMC Med. 2022. DOI:10.1186/s12916-022-02511-0

21. Beach B, Steel N, Steptoe A, Zaninotto P. Associations of cognitive impairment with self-isolation and access to health and care during the COVID-19 pandemic in England. Sci Rep. 2023 Mar 28;13(1):5026. DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-31241-3

22. Beach B, Steptoe A, Zaninotto P. Depression and anxiety in people with cognitive impairment and dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic: Analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. PLoS Med. 2023 Apr 24;20(4):e1004162.

23. Wels J, Wielgoszewska B, Moltrecht B, Booth C, Green MJ, Hamilton OK, Demou E, Di Gessa G, Huggins C, Zhu J, Santorelli G, Silverwood RJ, Kopasker D, Shaw RJ, Hughes A, Patalay P, Steves C, Chaturvedi N, Porteous DJ, Rhead R, Katikireddi SV, Ploubidis GB. Home working and social and mental wellbeing at different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK: Evidence from 7 longitudinal population surveys. PLoS Med. 2023 Apr 27;20(4):e1004214. 

24. Huang YT, Steptoe A, Patel RS, Thomson EF, Cadar D. The impact of long-term conditions and comorbidity patterns on COVID-19 infection and hospitalisation: a cohort study. medRxiv. 2023 Apr 27:2023.04.25.23289035.

25. Wang W, Wang J, Shi J, Li Y, Zhang X, Wu F, Wang Y, Li J, Hao M, Liu X, Zhai S, Wang Y, Gao N, Tian Y, Lu R, Yeo YH, Jia X, Ji F, Dang S. Associations of psychological wellbeing with COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality in adults aged 50 years or older from 25 European countries and Israel. Front Public Health. 2023 May 4;11:1124915. DOI:10.3389/fpubh.2023.1124915

26. Collinge, A.N., Bath, P.A. Socioeconomic Background and Self-Reported Sleep Quality in Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023.

27. Di Gessa, G., Zaninotto, P. Health Behaviors and Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging. J Appl Gerontol. 2023. DOI:10.1177/07334648231159373


28. Kung, C.S.J., Steptoe, A. Changes in Internet use patterns among older adults in England from before to after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sci Rep. 2023. DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-30882-8


29. Kung, C.S.J., Zhu, J., Zaninotto, P., Steptoe, A. Changes in retirement plans in the English older population during the COVID-19 pandemic: The roles of health factors and financial insecurity. Eur J Ageing. 2023.


30. Patel, M., Uthman, O. Risk factors for newly-developed cardiovascular disease and quality of life during the COVID - 19 pandemic: an analysis of the English longitudinal study of ageing. BMC Public Health. 2023.

31. Price, D., Di Gessa, G. Mental health and self-rated health of older carers during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from England. Aging Ment Health. 2023. DOI:10.1080/13607863.2023.2236569


32. Ramos-Vera, C., García O'Diana, A., Basauri, M.D., Calle, D.H., Saintila, J. Psychological impact of COVID-19: A cross-lagged network analysis from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging COVID-19 database. Front Psychiatry. 2023.



33. Zheng, F., Li, C., Hua, R., Liang, J., Gao, D., Xie, W. Sex differences in changes of depressive symptoms among older adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from two longitudinal cohorts. BMC Geriatr. 2023. DOI:10.1186/s12877-023-03744-1


34. Zhu, J., Di Gessa, G., Zaninotto, P. Changes in health behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic and effect on weight and obesity among older people in England. Sci Rep. 2023. DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-41391-z


35. Zhu, J., Zaninotto, P., Di Gessa, G. Pre-pandemic trajectories of depressive symptomatology and their relation to depression during the COVID-19 pandemic: longitudinal study of English older people. 2023. BJPsych Open.


36. Malkowski, O.S., Townsend, N.P., Kelson, M.J., Foster, C.E.M., Western, M.J. Socioeconomic inequalities in physical activity among older adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. BMJ Public Health. 2023. DOI:10.1136/bmjph-2023-000100


37. Vlachantoni, A., Falkingham, J., Evandrou, M., Qin, M. Has COVID-19 Been the Great Leveler? The Changing Use of Intergenerational Digital Communications Amongst Older People in England During the Pandemic. 2023. J Appl Gerontol.



38. Jin, M.J., Bae, S.M. The Effect of Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Physical Activity on Depressive Symptoms of Older Adults during COVID-19: A Moderated Mediation Analysis. 2023. Int J Environ Res Public Health. DOI:10.3390/ijerph21010026

39. Mansfield, R., Di Gessa, G., Patel, K., McElroy, E., Wels, J., Henderson, M., Maddock, J., Stafford, J., Steptoe, A., Richards, M., Patalay, P. Examining the Interrelationships Between Social Isolation and Loneliness and Their Correlates Among Older British Adults Before and During the COVID-19 Lockdown: Evidence from Four British Longitudinal Studies. 2023. Innov Aging. DOI:10.1093/geroni/igad126

40. Sun, H.L., Zhang, Q., Si, T.L., Bai, W., Chen, P., Lam, M.I., Lok, K.I., Su, Z., Cheung, T., Ungvari, G.S., Jackson, T., Sha, S., Xiang, Y.T. Interactive changes in depression and loneliness symptoms prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal network analysis. 2024. Psychiatry Res. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2024.115744


41. Ramos-Vera, C., García O'Diana, A., Basauri-Delgado, M., Calizaya-Milla, Y.E., Saintila, J.
Network analysis of anxiety and depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic in older adults in the United Kingdom. 2024. Sci Rep. DOI:10.1038/s41598-024-58256-8


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