10 May 2023
What ELSA tells us about the detrimental effects of social isolation
Social isolation has long been a topic of concern and there is a growing body of evidence detailing its adverse effects on the health of people of all ages. However, due to circumstances associated with ageing - such as relationship losses, retirement, health and functional declines, and living conditions - isolation is a situation that many older adults find themselves facing. Its impact on their health and longevity is substantial. Dr Claryn Kung explains how ELSA data is helping to further probe that impact.
27 Apr 2023
Could a cold home affect health and wellbeing? What ELSA tells us
The excess mortality associated with direct and acute effects of short-term exposure to extreme temperatures is among the most documented effects of climate on human health. The UK has more ill health and extra deaths in winter than colder European countries do. Two and a half million UK households have trouble heating their homes and have ‘fuel poverty’. This particularly affects people who are poor, older, or have bad health. Dr Cesar Messias de Oliveira explains how data from ELSA and the HEEEAT project are helping to examine the effects of housing energy policies on energy use, indoor temperatures, and older adults’ health.
31 Mar 2023
ELSA’s role in the fight against dementia
Dementia is a disease of the brain that affects cognition and everyday function. It is a major health concern leading to loss of independence and a reduced quality of life and health. It is reported to be one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide. In the UK, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect 1 in 14 individuals aged 65 and above and 1 in every 6 people over 80. With no current cure, it’s hardly surprising then that a recent YouGov poll found that almost two-third of us are worried about developing dementia. Dr Sarah Assaad and Dr Shabina Hayat explain why we need to tackle this terrible condition and how the Healthy Cognitive Ageing Project (HCAP), a sub-study of ELSA, is helping to do just that.
28 Feb 2023
Depression in later life: Generating insights from ELSA
As in much of the world, England in the 21st century will experience significant social change as a result of population ageing. This will have major and wide-reaching impacts on individual lives, family dynamics, and the demand for public services. This is where the rich data on later life that ELSA provides plays a key role, as Dr Brian Beach from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL explains.