The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing Research Seminar

Posted on: 17 May 2010

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, made closing remarks at the recent seminar ‘TILDA Research Opportunities: Introducing a New Resource to Researchers in Ageing’.

This seminar presented an overview of the data that will become available from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) in the upcoming months and allowed the participants, including clinicians and researchers in the field of ageing,  to identify key research questions, plan appropriate analysis strategies and collaborations and begin preparing applications to funding bodies.

Vice-Provost for Medical Affairs and Head of the School of Medicine, Professor Dermot Kelleher in welcoming the Minister to the research seminar said: “There are longitudinal studies on ageing taking place all over the world in an effort to prepare societies for the emerging demographic growth in older persons.  Because Ireland is one of the last developed countries to implement such a study, we have been able to capitalise on questions and issues raised by other studies. Consequently, TILDA is at the forefront of such studies, conducting quality internationally comparative original research and informing national and international policy.”

A Design Report, which outlines the principles involved in developing the study, was presented at the seminar. In the Report each area of inquiry in the study is described along with a discussion of the questions used and the logic for their inclusion.  Details of the health assessments incorporated in the study are also given. For the complete copy of the Report click on  tilda.

TILDA is a new study of a representative cohort of 8,000 people resident in Ireland and aged 50 and over, charting the major aspects of their lives over a 10-year period. It will collect detailed information on:

– Health – physical, mental, service needs and usage;

– Economic situation  – pensions, employment, income and assets; and,

– Social circumstances – contact with friends and family, formal and informal care, and social participation.

The first wave of data collection is currently in the field.

An external group of experts, who serve on TILDA Scientific Advisory Board, are providing international perspective:

– Professor Aartjan Beekman, Head of Department of Psychiatry, Vrije University VUmc and St. Buitenamstel Geestgronden. Director of Psychological Assessment, Longitudinal Ageing Study in Amsterdam (LASA).

– Dr. Lisa Berkman, Director, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Harvard School of Public Health. Co-Investigator, Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI).

– Professor Axel Boersch-Supan, Director, Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging, MEA, University of Mannheim. Coordinator, Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE).

– Professor Carol Brayne, Director, Institute of Public Health, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Cambridge University. Principal Investigator, Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (CFAS) & Cambridge City over 75 Study (CC75C).

– Dr. Robert Clarke, Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Oxford University. Coordinator, Precocious Coronary Artery Disease Study (PROCARDIS).

– Professor John Henretta, Professor of Sociology, Health and Retirement Study, Institute for Social Research, University of Florida. Co-Investigator, Health and Retirement Study (HRS).

– Professor Stacy Lindau, Associate Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Medicine-Geriatrics, University of Chicago Medical Center. Principal Investigator, US National Social Life, Health and Ageing Project (N-SHAPE).

– Sir Michael Marmot, Director, International Institute for Society and Health, University College London. Director, English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).

– Professor Anne Newman, Director, Center for Aging and Population Health, University of Pittsburgh. Principal Investigator, Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) & The Study of Health, Ageing and Body Composition (Health ABC).

– Professor Carol Ryff, Director, National Institute on Aging, University of Wisconsin. Director, MIDUS II (Midlife in the U.S.) National Survey.

– Dr. James Smith, Distinguished Chair, Labor Markets and Demographic Studies, RAND Corporation. Principal Investigator, New Immigrant Survey (NIS).

– Professor David Weir, Professor of Sociology, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.  Assistant Director, Health and Retirement Study (HRS).